Father may lose all four limbs after contracting flesh-eating bacteria in NJ

Angel Perez 60 contracted the disease while crabbing in a New Jersey river according to his daughter

Angel Perez 60 contracted the disease while crabbing in a New Jersey river according to his daughter

A New Jersey father is fighting for his life after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria infection while crabbing at Matt's Landing in Maurice River.

Angel Perez, 60, of Millville, Jersey, was catching crabs last week (left and right) off the Maurice River.

The swelling started around scratches that Perez had on his right leg, family told WTXF. The father is now in the ICU at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ, according to NJ Advance Media.

VNF is referred to as a flesh-eating bacteria because the infection results in tissue damage and death.

'He is in critical condition, ' Perez-Dilan told the website.

"Take precaution", Perez-Dilan said.

"Typically, when you get an infection like this, it enters through an existing wound and can spread throughout the bloodstream and can cause other complications such as necrotizing fasciitis, which he unfortunately got", said Cumberland County Health Officer Megan Sheppard.

Officials say the best way to avoid the bacteria is to avoid raw shellfish, and to only swim in water that is regularly tested.

If he doesn't, they may have to amputate all of his limbs. Perez's daughter Dilena Perez-Dilan said her father's right leg quickly "turned (a) brown, blackish color" after he exited the brackish waters. His forearms are black in color.

Doctors are waiting to see if Perez responds to antibiotics, his daughter says. Brackish water is a salty combination of fresh and seawater often found in places like the Chesapeake Bay where the ocean's salt water mixes with fresh water. "And then another friend of (Perez) that goes fishing there, he now has a baseball-size swelling of his elbow, and that's where he's been going".

Nonetheless, the family says Perez is in good spirits. He's just happy to have a second chance, ' she said.

Perez has Parkinson's disease, which could put him at greater risk for this type of an infection. "Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous". "Don't just jump in the water with wounds open".

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