Just a week before the Fourth of July holiday, Leann Thibodeau from Port Charlotte visited Manasota Beach, just South of Venice, for the first time.
She said she thought nothing of a small cut on her foot, the size of a pin-hole. In fact, it had already scabbed over and was healing when she got in the water.
That was Saturday. On Tuesday, her foot was red and infected. She even joked with friends that she must have flesh-eating bacteria, never thinking it could actually be true.
On Thursday, July 4th, her foot was swollen and she was in pain, she couldn’t walk on it.
Leann was shocked by the diagnosis from doctors at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte. She was told she had a flesh-eating bacteria, also known as necrotizing fasciitis. Leann was told she needed immediate surgery to have part of her left foot removed.
She issued the following warning, in part, on her Facebook page.
“BE CAREFUL MY FRIENDS, I HAD A SCAB ON MY FOOT, DIDN’T THINK ANYTHING OF IT. IT BECAME INFECTED AND SWOLLEN, I JOKED ABOUT IT FOR THREE DAYS, GUESS YOU SHOULDN’T JOKE. SO, WITH THAT BEING SAID, I’M WARNING ALL MY FRIENDS FROM SARASOTA TO PORT CHARLOTTE, BE CAREFUL.”
For a closer look at beach water quality in your area visit the Florida Health Department’s website.