Health

Woman dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria; husband says she would be alive if doctors diagnosed her earlier

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An Indianapolis woman died Saturday after she contracted a flesh-eating bacteria during a vacation to Florida but her husband believes she would still be alive today if doctors diagnosed her earlier.

Carol Martin traveled to Clearwater, Florida, for a family vacation and to watch racing in February, WFLA reported. Her husband, Richard Martin, said his wife loved racing and looked forward to traveling to Florida every year to watch.

"She loved going down to the racetrack. Every year, she couldn’t wait to get to Florida to be there, you know," Richard Martin told WFLA.

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However, after the family returned from their trip, Carol noticed she had a sore on her buttock.

"She had like a pimple come up on her right butt cheek. She said it was kind of painful," Richard Martin said.

Martin said his wife went to the doctor’s office twice to get the sore checked out. Both times she was sent home with antibiotics and a heating pad.

However, the infection worsened and a biopsy was done which found Carol had contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a "serious bacterial skin infection" that only affects between 600 and 1200 people in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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She was rushed to the hospital and spent 16 days in the intensive care unit in an Indianapolis hospital.

"They finally decided to do a biopsy of the area after the third trip. That’s when they found out it was the flesh eating virus, bacteria," Richard Martin said.

After she was released from the hospital, Carol died at home.

“She made me lunch; I kissed her goodbye to go to work. I come home early in the morning and found her passed away,” Martin said.

Martin said he believes his wife may have contracted the infection from the Florida hotel’s hot tub.

“My thing is, nobody else got it, the flesh-eating bacteria. She was the only one that got in the hot tub,” he said.

The coroner’s office in Indianapolis said they have taken tissue samples from Carol to determine if the infection caused her death. 

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