Suncoast man says bacteria in water caused infection

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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- A North Port man diagnosed with a serious bacterial infection says he caught it from the water in Punta Gorda.

The infection Mark Myers has is a result of a tiny scratch coming in contact with contaminated water.

“We went fishing that day, and we were taking the boat out of the water, and I had stepped in the water to hook the cable and the chain up. For about twenty seconds I was in the water,” says Myers.

He and his family were fishing out of Laishley Park in Punta Gorda. “I didnt feel anything different. I went on home, and two days later I was in the emergency room with my leg swelling and turning red, and just very swollen.”

His wife Joyce urged him to get help. “When I went into the ER, I was hurting; it was swollen, it was very humped up where the little scab was.”

He was prescribed antibiotics for cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin, but it got worse says Joyce Myers. “It looked like a spider bits at first, and then you could tell that something wasn’t right with it because the whole leg was swelling. There was no more ankle.”

And there were bigger concerns. “All I could think of was him losing his leg.”

He ended up back in the ER. “And that's when they lanced it, drained it, packed it and put me on aggressive antibiotics.”

They unpacked the wound two days later at the ER, and he says he's still a little sore. “It's nothing like what it was; it was unbearable, it was about the bones were about to break in half.”

He is finally back on his feet, and back to work. Myers is now on bactrim, another antibiotic and is responding well. He is expected to make a full recovery.

There had been some beach closures around that time in Sarasota County due to bacteria, but none in Charlotte County.

My name is Scott.