Dave Bennett from Tennessee has died 48 hours after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria while on a trip to Florida to visit his daughter.
Taking to Facebook to share the story, Cheryl Bennett Wiygul, explained how her dad, Dave Bennett, contracted Vibrio vulnificus which later killed him and issued a warning that she believes people should heed. In the post she wrote,
“Flesh eating bacteria sounds like an urban legend. Let me assure you that it is not. It took my Dad’s life. This is so raw and personal to me that I did not want to post about it, but if I can help one person, then it is worth it.”
Cheryl revealed that her dad had cancer and as a result, his immune system was compromised. Cheryl’s dad along with the rest of Cheryl’s family had fun and enjoyed family time out in the water near Crab Island during their visit to Florida. They had no idea of what was about to happen.
Before her family’s visit, Cheryl had heard of a 12-year-old girl who had contracted bacteria through an open wound that began to eat her flesh but didn’t think much of it. In her post she writes.
“My parents were coming down to stay with me in Florida about a week after the post about a 12 year old girl contracting bacteria that turned into necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) in Destin started circling around. I didn’t want to believe that.
“My family loves being in the water. Our county, Okaloosa County, posted an article titled “Rumor Control” in response to the post which seemed to diffuse everyone’s fears. The girl had a cut on her leg so I felt like it reinforced to me not to go in with a cut. I researched a little. When my parents got in town I was fanatical about Neosporin and liquid band-aid.
“My Dad didn’t have any open wounds. He had a couple places that were practicality healed small scratches on his arms and legs that I made sure were super sealed up. My mom religiously sun-blocked him. We were taking precautions and we were good, so I thought.”
However, Dave Bennett had unfortunately contracted a potentially deadly bacteria. Early the next morning, on a Saturday, Dave awoke with fever, chills and cramping. Soon afterwards, he developed pain in his legs and a badly swollen black spot on his back.
Dave was rushed to the hospital and put on IV antibiotics. Several spots started to appear on his skin. The next day, on a Sunday, he passed away.
“There were no bacteria warnings at any beach or park we went to,” Cheryl wrote. “They do post advisories for high bacteria but there were none. I would never have taken my Dad in the water if there was a bacteria advisory but it would have been because I didn’t want him to get a stomach virus not because I thought it would kill him.”
Vibrio bacteria live in certain coastal waters and are found in higher concentrations between May and October and is the cause of as many as 100 deaths in the U.S. each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cheryl and her family. May God’s love and grace comfort them.
Please remember to share Cheryl’s warning about this potentially deadly bacteria, You may just save a life.