Florida Man Gets Rare Flesh-Eating Bacteria In Fishing Accident

A ‘fluke’ accident? Mike Walton contracted a potentially life-threatening infection while fishing near the Florida coast. Image: Fair Use, Mike Walton


By Joelle Goldstein April 29, 2019

PEOPLE – A Florida man who contracted a rare flesh-eating bacteria from a fish hook is sharing his story in hopes to prevent someone else from suffering a similar experience.

During a recent fishing trip in the Gulf, Mike Walton accidentally impaled his hand with a fish hook, Bay News 9 reports.

What the fisherman believed was a minor injury turned into a life-threatening illness that kept him in the hospital for nearly two weeks, leaving doctors searching for answers.

Since the incident, Walton has been released from the hospital but is now hoping that his story will encourage other fishermen to use precaution with any fishing-related injuries.

On the weekend of April 13, Walton was fishing with some friends when the fish hook got stuck in his hand, according to the GoFundMe campaign, which was set up to help Walton in the aftermath of the incident.

Because the Ozona native had experienced similar cuts before, he carried on with his trip, thinking nothing of the minor injury, Bay News 9 reports.

The next day, however, things turned serious when Walton noticed that his hand had gotten drastically worse.

A trip to Urgent Care and antibiotic prescriptions didn’t make his condition any better, as the blistering, bruising, swelling, and black-colored skin started spreading towards his thumb, according to the news outlet.

It was then that the fisherman opted to go to Tampa General Hospital where doctors determined that Walton had contracted an extremely rare, life-threatening, flesh-eating bacteria that spread from his hand into his arm.

Luckily, it was discovered just in time, as doctors told the Florida resident that if he had waited any longer, there was a chance he could have lost his arm — or worse, according to the GoFundMe page. Read more. 

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