Granddad fighting for life after catching flesh-eating bug fishing for crabs


A grandfather has been left fighting for his life after he caught a flesh-eating bug fishing for crabs.

Angel Perez, 60, contracted vibrio necrotizing fasciitis while crabbing at Matt’s Landing in Maurice River, New Jersey on July 2.

Bacteria entered the dad-of-ones body through a tiny scratch in his ankle, eventually turning all his limbs black.

Angel Perez is in hospital after he caught a flesh eating bug while fishing for crabs (Picture: SWNS)
Mr Perez caught the bug while fishing for crabs (Picture: SWNS)

Daughter Dilena Perez-Dilan, 28, from New Jersey, said: ‘It all happened so quickly.

‘He went from fishing almost every day and enjoying life after his 60th birthday, to fighting for his life.

‘It’s hard to believe it all happened due bacteria getting into a scratch from being in the water.

The bug has caused his limbs to become black (Picture: SWNS)
He has been warned the bug could kill him (Picture: SWNS)

‘It has taken over him. Unless there is a miracle it’s a case of just trying to give him as much time as possible.

‘It’s hard to believe all this happened from a crabbing trip and a tiny scratch – just a scratch – on his ankle.’

Mr Perez noticed a day after the trip his limbs were swelling, changing colour and his skin was blistering.

Bacteria entered his bloodstream through a tiny cut in his ankle (Picture: SWNS)
His devastated family are by his bedside and are supporting the former car salesman who has vowed to fight to the end (Picture: SWNS)

Doctors say the infection will eventually kill the former car salesman.

Dilena, a clinical social worker and therapist, said: ‘It took over his leg that day.

‘Soon it was his whole right leg, left leg, right hand, left arm.’

Mr Perez was left with vibrio necrotizing fasciitis after bacteria entered his body through a tiny scratch in his ankle (Picture: SWNS)

Mr Perez was put on a ventilator for two days when doctors discovered the infection was in his blood.

Tests found it was caused by a vibrio bacteria, often found in warmer waters where the river meets the sea.

It is even more dangerous for Perez, who has a weakened immune system due to Parkinson’s disease.

He noticed a day after crabbing his limbs started blistering and were swollen (Picture: SWNS)

Doctors recommended amputation, but told him ‘there’s no guarantee that he would be alive for much longer’, his family said.

Perez, who remains in the intensive care unit at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, is having dialysis because his kidneys have started to shut down.

Dilena added: ‘Everyone is coming to us saying if they don’t amputate he will continue to get infected and perhaps succumb to heart failure.

The grandfather has been left fighting for his life (Picture: SWNS)

‘But he think his quality of life would be so low with amputation, he has decided to continue to fight simply with treatment.

‘He’s in a lot of a pain. He can’t feel his hands anymore.

‘I said, “Daddy don’t leave me yet,” and he gave me that nod.’


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