Family says Ellenton beachgoer died from necrotizing fasciitis
ELLENTON, Fla. (FOX 13) - Lynn Fleming's last days were spent with family at her little piece of paradise: Coquina Beach. Days later, she was put on life support after contracting necrotizing fasciitis, sometimes called flesh-eating bacteria.
Her son, Wade, and his wife Traci, were there with her.
"It seems like a 'Lifetime' movie really," Wade said. "I can't even believe it, that it's really even happening. It's just all happening so fast."
Two weeks ago, Lynn was walking along the beach when she cut her leg.
"There was a little depression that she couldn't see because it was under the water," explained Wade. "She fell into it, came out with a little ¾-inch cut; a bump on her leg. It was just a small cut, didn't think much of it. We got the swelling down, but it just kept bleeding."
A couple of days later, Lynn went to the doctor. They gave her a tetanus shot and a prescription for an antibiotic.
The next day, Wade says, her friends found her unconscious in her home. At the hospital, doctors said she contracted the flesh-eating bacteria.
Yesterday, Lynn died. During surgeries to try and save her infected leg, she suffered two strokes and sepsis.
Now, Wade and Traci want you to be aware that warm beach waters could prove deadly.
Her leg was red, swollen, and she had fallen ill with a fever. They're all signs of a flesh-eating bacteria infection.
"They can be treated," said Wade. "You get the open wound while playing at the beach, watch it, take care of it."
"This is the place she loved," said Traci. "She couldn't wait to get down here and retire. She loved the ocean; she loved walking on the beach. Unfortunately, it's place that took her life by freak accident."
The CDC says one in three people who contract the flesh-eating bacteria will die. Since 2010, there have been about 700 to 1,200 cases annually, though the CDC says that's likely an underestimate.