Florida woman dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria, family says

Lynn Fleming

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Wade Fleming told The Associated Press on Monday that Lynn Fleming, who retired to Florida's Gulf Coast, contracted flesh-eating bacteria and died almost two weeks after she fell and scraped her leg while walking on a beach in Florida.

A life in Florida had always been the dream of Carolyn "Lynn" Fleming, who was originally from Pittsburgh but was most recently a resident of Ellenton, Florida.

"She fell into it, came out with a little three-quarter-inch cut; a bump on her leg", her son Wade, who was with her, told Fox13.

The family visited Coquina Beach, just a short distance from St. Petersburg, on June 14. A lifeguard cleaned it up and gave her a bandage.

Traci said: "She couldn't wait to get down here and retire", she said. As the weekend progressed, the severity of her wound escalated.

Lynn went to the doctor a few days after her fall and was given a tetanus shot. Her left shin was black.

Lynn Fleming contracted flesh-eating bacteria while walking on a beach in Florida.

Here's what you need to know about this deadly infection. She died after she suffered two strokes and septic shock during surgeries to save her leg. She died Thursday while Wade held her hand.

Her family hopes that by sharing her story, they can educate others and save lives.

"This is the place she loved", Traci said. "We got the swelling down, but it just kept bleeding", he said.

The CDC says one in three people who contract the flesh-eating bacteria will die.

Although it is uncommon, the infection has been popping up more lately, particularly in Florida. The infection is often contracted in bodies of water and can be caused by a variety of bacteria (Vibrio vulnificus and Group A Strep, for example).

Doctors say if you have an open wound and you've been in the water, look for early warning signs, including fever, severe pain and a rapidly spreading swollen area. It is important to clean even minor cuts and injuries that break the skin with soap and water. And see a doctor for puncture and other deep or serious wounds.

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