Florida woman, Lynn Fleming has died after cutting her leg in Anna Marie Island, Florida at the age of 77. After cutting her leg, Fleming contracted a flesh-eating bacteria which eventually led to her death two weeks later.
On June 14, Fleming cut her leg by falling into a small dip of water off of Coquina Beach, about an hour from St. Petersburg, per NBC News.
Her wound, which started off as a three-quarter inch cut on her shin, started to develop into something more and more dangerous as time went on. Fleming started to show severe symptoms about two days after she cut her leg, said her son and daughter-in-law, Wade and Traci Fleming, who were with her the day she cut her leg, according to NBC News.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Fleming Tried to Dampen the Symptoms of Her Cut Two Days after Receiving It, on June 16
According to NBC News, Fleming started to feel pain in her leg about two days cutting it. After her leg started showing swelling, her friends forced her to go get care. She received an antibiotic and tetanus shot at an urgent care facility.
Fleming who lived in Ellenton, Florida was originally from Pittsburgh. According to her son and daughter-in-law, Fleming has always wanted to live in the sunshine state.
“She loved the ocean and she loved walking on the beach,” Tracy Fleming told NBC News.
2. Fleming’s Leg Turned Black Just a Day after Receiving Treatment
On June 17, the status of Fleming’s leg took a very dark turn. She was found unconscious on her bedroom floor, and her shin where she suffered from the cut was black.
“Her friends found her pretty much unconscious and on her bedroom floor,” Traci Fleming told NBC News. “They called an ambulance.”
She was immediately hospitalized and was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a deadly infection known as flesh-eating bacteria. The infection attacks the body quickly by killing the body’s soft tissue, per NBC News.
Symptoms include red or purplish warm skin, painful swelling, including beyond the affected area, followed by fever, fatigue and vomiting.
3. On Top of Her Infection, Fleming Suffered from Two Strokes and Kidney Failure
After being admitted into the hospital, Fleming suffered from two strokes and kidney failure, according to a Facebook update posted by Fleming’s daughter-in-law, Traci Fleming.
“This is what my mom in law contacted while at the beach with us on June 14,” Traci Fleming said on Facebook referencing photos she shared of another person who had contracted necrotizing fasciitis.
“We were visiting her in the Gulf where she’s always wanted to live. On top of this she has suffered from two strokes and has suffered from kidney failure. Her entire body is septic. I love the ocean but there are some dangers there as well. Educate yourselves!!,” Traci Fleming added.
Hours after Fleming’s intensive debilitating status, doctors called in hospice care, per NBC News.
4. On June 27 Fleming Passed Away during Surgery
In the midst of surgery, Lynn Fleming passed away after suffering two strokes and organ failure in the middle of the surgery that was aimed to save her leg.
“Lynn passed peacefully in her sleep today with Wade holding her hand,” Traci Fleming wrote in a Facebook post.
5. Fleming Is Not the First Person to Suffer from Necrotizing Fasciitis, Contracted from Florida This Year
According to the Tampa Bay Times, some Florida doctors are worried about the recent surge in necrotizing fasciitis this year.
Mike Walton was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico over Easter weekend when he contracted the infection, and Barry Briggs contracted the infection during a boating trip to an island off of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
“It’s called a flesh-eating disease because it’s so rapidly progressing,” Dr. Surbhi Jain, who specializes in undersea and hyperbaric medicine with AdventHealth in Trinity, said.
“It destroys the skin and the tissue that covers the muscle within 12-to-24 hours,” she said. “The bacteria releases toxins into the tissue, and over time, it dies and begins to decay. It’s quite painful. So patients should really not delay seeking treatment if they do not feel well.”
Not delaying treatments is something Fleming’s son, Wade, wish he would’ve known. He told NBC News that with the proper knowledge his mother would still be here.
“I think that if we had the knowledge prior to this, we would have treated everything different,” he said. “My mother would be here, giving you an interview instead of me.”