After a routine family excursion to a local Florida beach, Lynn Fleming has died from “a small cut” that turned fatal.
“It seems like a ‘Lifetime’ movie really,” Fleming’s son, Wade, told a local Fox affiliate. “I can’t even believe it, that it’s really even happening. It’s just all happening so fast.” Wade said the beach was “the place she loved.”
“She couldn’t wait to get down here and retire. She loved the ocean; she loved walking on the beach,” Wade’s wife Traci said. “Unfortunately, it’s the place that took her life by freak accident.”
The story is as brief as it is tragic. Fleming, on the beach with Wade and others of her family, fell in a small dip in the water. “She fell into it, came out with a little three-quarter-inch cut; a bump on her leg,” Wade recalled. “It was just a small cut, didn’t think much of it. We got the swelling down, but it just kept bleeding,” he said.
Later, Fleming was prescribed antibiotics and given a precautionary tetanus shot. But neither would save her from the aggressive necrotic bacteria that killed her. She soon developed a fever. The day after, she was found unconscious by her friends.
Fleming was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, and despite emergency surgeries attempting to save her leg, she soon succumbed. Fleming had two strokes and developed sepsis. After a grim battle, she died on Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that of the roughly 700–1,200 people who annually contract flesh-eating bacteria at the beach or elsewhere, one in three will perish. Wade and his wife warned other prospective beach-goers to take such injuries seriously, before it is too late. “They can be treated,” said Wade. “You get the open wound while playing at the beach, watch it, take care of it.”