MS. flesh eating bacteria survivors
WLOX-Gulfport, MS — Two Mississippi men are recovering after they were exposed to flesh eating bacteria.
Several weeks ago, Rene Olier was on a simple fishing trip south of Cat Island in Louisiana waters. Now he is walking into the wound care center at Memorial Hospital with his right arm amputated at the shoulder. Olier was never in the water, he was just using his hands to pull shrimp out of the live bait well when something quickly went very wrong.
"We went fishing early Thursday morning. Friday around 2am, I knew I was getting sick, but I didn't know what the problem was", said Olier.
That problem was, VIBRIO VULNIFICUS.
Jocko Angle’s story is different, but the infection was the same. He was in the water under the Popp’s Ferry Bridge. A few hours later, his life changed.
"I actually had to be ambulanced in to the ER, had two visits to the ER, one to the VA and then approximately six hours later I went back to the ER", said Angle
One year later, his left leg is still twice its normal size, and he is still undergoing treatment. But his leg was saved. So does he feel lucky?
"I wouldn't say lucky; I would say blessed. It was the most painful thing, and these people saved my leg. And I had heard of it, but I never thought it would be me."
Meanwhile, Olier has a message for others.
"A bad day fishing is better than a good day working, but just be real careful, just watch what you do. It could turn out to be a devastating thing."
Losing his arm was devastating, but Olier knows it could have been worse.
"I'm happy to be alive. It could have really went bad the other way. I'm just real happy to be alive."