‘My life changed within one moment;’ Connecticut man loses leg to flesh-eating bacteria

A Connecticut man who had a small cut on his leg when he went swimming said he’s grateful to be alive after he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, known as flesh-eating bacteria.

Bruce Kagan, 68, lost part of his leg in his fight for survival, but he told WVIT-TV that he's just happy he made it through the ordeal.

"All I can say is that I am, by far, one of the luckiest men in the whole world, by far," Kagan said.
"I don't know how I made it, but I did."

Kagan went swimming at the state's Hammonasset Beach State Park along Long Island Sound earlier this summer, his family told WVIT, and by June 30, he was hospitalized with flesh-eating bacteria.

"It's all because of a little cut. It's all it was, a little cut. Nothing more, nothing less," he told the news station.

Doctors at the Hospital of Central Connecticut tried to save his leg, but by Aug. 1, they made the decision to amputate.

“My life changed within one moment saying, ‘Yeah, it’s going to be OK.’ Next moment, ‘We don’t know if you’re going to be OK,” Kagan said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the key to surviving the rare bacterial infection is to act fast.

"Accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment and prompt surgery are important to stopping this infection," the CDC said on its website.

Those with compromised immune systems or those who have open wounds and swim in warm water are most at risk of developing flesh-eating bacteria.

Flesh-eating bacteria is mostly found in warm, brackish water, but has been on the rise in some coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

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