After losing his leg to flesh-eating bacteria he contracted while on swimming at the beach, a Florida man is sending a warning to the public so the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Zachary Motal, 46, says he went wading in the Gulf of Mexico at Fort Meyers Beach, Florida, during a relaxing beach day in April, and not even 12 hours later, he started experiencing excruciating pain in his leg. Doctors ultimately discovered he had contracted flesh-eating bacteria, likely through a small cut on his toe, and soon after, they had to amputate his foot and part of his leg.
“My foot was swollen and purple like a football... I was in tears, I was literally crying on my floor, because it hurt so bad," Motal said, reported Fox 10 Phoenix. "When I came in here I weighed 255 pounds, now I weigh 209."
“They took me up to ICU and within a few hours they were cutting my foot off," Motal added. "The doctor said if I hadn't have got here when I did, within four hours I would have been dead.”
Motal believes he became infected by the bacteria in the water, despite the most recent water tests not showing signs of anything suspicious.
“I think something does need to be done, the public does need to be aware that there's a flesh-eating bacteria,” Motal said. “"It made me feel horrible, because this is the only way I could've contracted this disease is that water. Even the doctor said so. So who are we going to believe, a doctor who spends his life studying infectious diseases, or somebody who says they tested the water?”
Motal says that although tests don’t prove his theory that the bacteria was contracted in the water, he won’t stop spreading his message.
“I don't plan on giving up,” Motal said. “I just want the public to be aware of what's out in our water is very dangerous, it'll take your limbs, or worse, your life.”
Reports note that a prosthetic company plans to give him a new leg for free.
Photo Sources: Fox 10 Phoenix, ABC News