Florida Woman Lynn Fleming Died Of Flesh-Eating Bacteria After Cutting Leg In Ocean — Could She Have Prevented It?

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Who Is Lynn Fleming? New Details On Florida Woman Who Died Of Flesh Eating Bacteria After Cutting Leg In Ocean

Have you ever gone for a swim in the ocean or a lake and cut yourself? I have. Things can be rocky underneath the surface of the water. Well, you might want to think twice the next time you want to go for a swim in a body of water that's chlorinated. Lynn Fleming, a 77-year-old Florida woman has died after cutting her leg in the ocean in Anna Marie Island, Florida. She was originally from Pittsburgh, but relocated to Florida because she always wanted to live in the Sunshine State. She loved the beach and ocean and frequently walked along the shore. Fleming contracted flesh-eating bacteria and died two weeks later. Could she have done anything to prevent it or heal it? Who is Lynn Fleming? 

1. The wound (no photos, don't worry)

On June 14th, Lynn Fleming cut her leg when she fell in the water off of Coquina Beach, which is about an hour from the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Her wound was a 3/4 inch cut on her shin. About two days after she cut her leg, severe symptoms began to show, according to her son and daughter-in-law, Wade and Traci Fleming, who were with her when she cut her leg. 

2. She went to urgent care

Fleming didn't mess around with or delay care for her leg. She started feeling pain in her leg two days after cutting it. When her leg started swelling, her friends urged her to go to the hospital. Fleming went to an urgent care facility and received a tetanus shot and some antibiotics.

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3. Her leg turned black

On June 17, the day after she sought treatment for her leg, it turned black. Fleming was found on her bedroom floor unconscious. They called an ambulance. As soon as she got to the hospitals, doctors recognized that Fleming has necrotizing fasciitis, the deadly infection commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria. The infection attacks the body rapidly and kills the body's soft tissue.

4. While in the hospital she had two strokes and kidney failure

As if the flesh-eating bacteria destroying her leg wasn't bad enough, while Fleming was hospitalized for that, she had two strokes and her kidneys failed during the surgery to save her leg. Her entire body was septic. Doctors called for hospice care. There was nothing they could do. She died on June 27th.

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5. There's been a rise in flesh-eating bacteria cases in Florida this year

The Tampa Bay Times has reported that some Florida doctors are concerned about the surge in necrotizing fasciitis this year. At least two other people have contracted the flesh-eating bacteria just this year off the shores of Florida. Mike Walton was fishing over Easter weekend when he got it. Barry Briggs contracted the infection during a boating trip on Florida's Gulf Coast. Both of those men survived. Dr. Surbhi Jain specializes in undersea and hyperbaric medicine. She said: “It’s called a flesh-eating disease because it’s so rapidly progressing,” Dr. Surbhi Jain, who specializes in undersea and hyperbaric medicine with AdventHealth in Trinity, said. “It destroys the skin and the tissue that covers the muscle within 12-to-24 hours. The bacteria releases toxins into the tissue, and over time, it dies and begins to decay. It’s quite painful. So patients should really not delay seeking treatment if they do not feel well.”

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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.