(KHOU) — A Texas woman is recovering after a trip to the beach quickly turned into a life-threatening scare.
It was the beginning of another perfect family vacation in Galveston at the family's bay house. Within hours, a seemingly small accident left Michelle's family never wanting to return.
Michelle and her son were looking for sea glass, a family tradition.
An oyster cut through her like a razor blade, like a surgeon's scalpel it went straight through. She was wearing thick shoes when Michelle was exposed to vibrio vulnificus, a flesh eating bacteria that's as bad as it sounds.
Vibrio vulnificus is in the same family of cholera It attacks the immune system and can destroy feet, hands, anywhere a wound is open and exposed.
"The only reason i still have my foot attached to me, is because i got those early antibiotics in," said Michelle.
She was headed home to Austin with a just-in-case dose of antibiotics, but they were not enough. Michelle spent five days in the hospital, mostly in the ICU.
Most cases in the Gulf happen between May and October because that's when the water is warmest.
"People don't realize it's not just on oysters, this bacteria is in the water. If it were a small child or an older person or somebody that's not in tip top shape, it is absolutely deadly."
Michelle knows it could have been her, dead because of the bacteria.
"I don't know that I'll be able to ever go back you know the way that it was."
She's thankful for her life, but will never look at the ocean the same way.