AL woman recalls experience with flesh-eating bacteria six years ago

Flesh-eating bacteria survivor speaks out

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (WSFA) - Health officials in Alabama are warning residents of a flesh-eating bacteria found in bodies of water throughout the state.

It’s called necrotizing fasciitis, but is better-known as flesh-eating bacteria.

Jessica Beauchamp contracted necrotizing fasciitis six years ago.

“I was on my way to work and I had this funny feeling come through my leg," Beauchamp said. “By the time I got to work, I couldn’t step out of my car. I couldn’t walk.”

Beauchamp was rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis and told her leg might have to be amputated.

“The doctor handed me a piece of paper and asked me to sign it, because they were going to have to amputate my leg from my knee down," Beauchamp said.

Luckily, doctors were able to spare her leg and her life.

However, hearing about the recent cases of necrotizing fasciitis in Alabama brought back memories.

“I almost lost my life because of that. Just seeing all these people that’s got to go through that, that’s heartbreaking because I know what they’re going through," Beauchamp said.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the bacteria can be found in bodies of water throughout the state, and that those who have open wounds or compromised immune systems should stay out of the water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that while the bacteria is rare, it’s deadly, and that one in three people with necrotizing fasciitis die from the infection.

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