FLORENCE, Ala. (WAAY) – An Alabama man is being treated for flesh-eating bacteria his family says was contracted in the Tennessee River.
Ricky Rutherford, 41, has been in the intensive care unit for a few days since contracting the bacterial infection.
His wife, Cassey Rutherford said their family went on the kayaking trip on Saturday, July 6. By Monday, Ricky wasn’t feeling well.
“He came home with a 103 temperature. There were no signs of anything else just the fever,” she said.
By Tuesday he could barely walk and a spot on his leg started to look worse.
Cassey said Ricky didn’t get the water with any open wounds or cuts.
“I had drawn an outline around the area, so I’d know if it was spreading and it was drastically spreading,” she said.
Ricky had surgery to remove the infected area and the hospital confirmed it was necrotizing fasciitis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flesh-eating bacteria is rare and people get it from open wounds, insect bites and burns.
But sometimes, you can get it without your skin being broken.
Doctors say Ricky has made it through he most dangerous part of all this and could be back home by the end of the week.