It was a fishing accident.
  • Over a weekend, Mike Walton, a Florida resident, went fishing with a group of his friends.
  • While on the excursion, the man was pricked by a fishing hook, which led brought him into contact with "flesh-eating" bacteria.
  • He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated.
  • In treatment, doctors thought he might have to remove his arm.
  • Walton is still recovering and plans to go fishing again one day.
  • Warning: Graphic image below.
  • For more stories, visit Business Insider South Africa.

Over the weekend, Mike Walton, a Florida resident, went fishing with a group of his friends off the Gulf of Mexico.

While on the excursion, which was organised by Ozona Fish Camp, the man was pricked by a fishing hook. At first, he thought nothing of it. But by Saturday night, he noticed something was not right as his hand had become swollen.

As Newsweek reports, he first went to a local hospital where he was prescribed antibiotics. However, by Sunday morning, he knew things were out of the ordinary.

"I had like little blisters starting to form on my hand and you could watch like sweat beads coming up on the side of the hand, and then they just turned black," he told ABC Action News.

It's called "flesh eating bacteria" for a reason.

So, Walton went to Tampa General Hospital where he was diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis, a rare "flesh-eating" bacteria. The condition is severe and has a rapid onset. Symptoms include fever, swollen skin, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and pain, per the CDC.

According to a GoFundMe organised by Ozona Fish Camp, doctors worried that they might have to remove Walton's infected arm to treat him.

"Doctors had informed him that it was spreading fast and he might lose his arm," the GoFundMe said. "Later into Monday and Tuesday after completely opening and cleaning all the tissue in his hand and arm doctors remain uncertain if they can save his arm or make it as functional as before."

Walton told ABC News that when he was being treated he realised the severity of the situation.

"When you look down and you can see your own tendons, back of your hand and your bone going up your arm that makes it real," he said.

Ultimately, doctors did not have to amputate his arm. Walton, who works in construction, received a skin graft on his left hand and arm.

He won't be able to work for the upcoming months as he recovers, per the outlet. The Go Fund Me begun by the Ozona Fish Camp will go toward his medical expenses and help his family - namely his daughter, sister, and parents - with day-to-day expenses. At the time of this post, it had raised nearly $18,000 (R259,000) of its $100,000 (R1.4 million) goal.

For now, Walton is home from the hospital and recovering, Eric McLendon, the owner of Ozona Fish Camp, told Newsweek.

"He is optimistic and looking forward to fishing again," he said. "He has been fishing his whole life here and fishes as often as possible. He would fish every day if time would allow."

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