A Florida man is currently fighting for his life after he recently contracted a flesh-eating bacteria so aggressive that doctors were forced to remove more than 25 percent of the skin on his body.
David Ireland has spent the last week in the Intensive Care Unit at a Florida Hospital in critical condition following his diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis in group A strep, according to a GoFundMe set up by his brother Daniel Ireland.
Doctors initially admitted David to the emergency room last week after he complained of flu-like symptoms, but the Orlando native soon learned he was dealing with an aggressive case of the flesh-eating bacteria, which is a tissue-destroying infection.
Since then, David has undergone three separate surgeries to remove over 25 percent of his skin, while his kidneys have also failed.
“He was in the ER and then all of a sudden they’ve got him in the operating room,” Daniel told the Miami Herald of his 50-year-old brother.
Though the bacteria is typically contracted in water, Daniel told the local outlet that his brother never swims in oceans or lakes, only in the pool at his Orlando condo.
Because doctors were able to determine David’s ailments and quickly treat the infection, they have prevented it from reaching his muscle tissue.
David, however, remains in a “medically induced stupor,” and his doctors have been unable to wake him up since Friday, his brother told the Herald.
On Sunday, David’s wife Jody Ireland, whom he shares two young daughters with, gave an update about her husband’s condition on the GoFundMe page.
“David is still in a life-threatening situation but there are some small victories every day,” she wrote. “I miss my best friend very much and pray every day that God will spare his life and bring him back home to me and our children.”
“My life isn’t the same without him so really praying for a miracle,” Jody added.
RELATED: Here’s All the Places Where People Have Reported Contracting Flesh-Eating Bacteria in 2019
That same day, Daniel wrote that David’s “blood pressure and acid numbers from his liver are starting to level off, showing a hopeful sign of recovery.”
Despite the promising signs, Jody revealed on Monday that her husband’s health battles were not over just yet.
“David will need to have surgery to do a reversible colostomy to help prevent his bowel movements from entering his open wounds,” she explained. “They will also be checking for more infection and if so taking more skin off, and replacing his catheter.”
Due to the numerous surgeries and procedures that David has unexpectedly required, his brother set up the GoFundMe to assist with his family’s medical expenses. The page has raised over $2,000 in 24 hours.
“This GoFundMe page would cover his hospital bills, living expenses for his wife, Jody Ireland, and their two young girls, Ruth and Rebekah,” Daniel wrote. “Thank you in advance for your prayers, kindness and generosity.”
Those wishing to help the Ireland family can do so here.
At least nine other people have contracting flesh-eating bacteria this year. In all cases, after spending time in or near the water in places like Florida, Texas, and Maryland, the victims fell ill and had to be hospitalized, some requiring surgery. Three people died after contracting the disease.
While cases of necrotizing fasciitis increase in the summer because the parasite thrives in warmer waters, it is actually a very rare disease, with only 20,000 cases a year.
Chances of contracting it are slim, especially if you’re healthy and have a strong immune system, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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