Vegas man survives flesh-eating bacteria - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Vegas man survives flesh-eating bacteria

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Eddie Garcia, middle, lost his hands and feet to a flesh-eating bacteria after catching illness earlier this year. Eddie Garcia, middle, lost his hands and feet to a flesh-eating bacteria after catching illness earlier this year.

Eddie Garcia thought he had the flu back in January, but when he was taken to urgent care, it turned out to be much worse.

"It was kidney failure at the time. They immediately got me to the hospital. Next thing I remember, I'm waking up ten days later," Eddie Garcia said.

Eddie Garcia's wife, Antoinette Garcia, remembers those days clearly.

"The doctor said we need to bring him into surgery. I said, 'Is he stable enough for surgery?' He [doctor] said, 'No, but without it, for sure we're going to lose him,'" Antoinette Garcia said.

Eddie Garcia survived several surgeries and was ultimately diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria.

Doctors are baffled as to how he contracted it. Some sacrifices were made to save him.

"The medicine ... basically what it did, it kept my brain and organs alive, but at the same time it was drawing blood from my limbs," Eddie Garcia said.

Eddie Garcia lost both his hands and feet.

Antoinette Garcia said her father, who was with her husband the weekend he got ill, also showed signs of the same bacteria. Doctors believe he contracted it from Eddie Garcia. His was caught in time and he recovered fully.

Eddie Garcia is a dean at Canyon Springs High School. He's very active and coached his 10-year-old's and 6-year-old's sports teams throughout the years.

Despite all he has been through, Eddie Garcia remains upbeat. He has received unbelievable support from his family, friends and former students. They said he inspires them in return.

"We can't believe how inspirational he is, how motivated he is. My cousin is amazing," family member Carol Saucillo said.

"I'm in awe of him all the time. I come here and see him I can't be angry, I can't be upset. Seeing him … he's amazing," Antoinette Garcia said.

Eddie Garcia said he has no choice but to remain positive. He was given a less than 20 percent chance to live. With perseverance, he plans to take his second chance at life and live it to the fullest.

"I survived this. I get to go home to my wife. I'm gonna get to go home to my two wonderful kids, and so if this is what it takes to go home to them, then I'm alright. I'm alright with it," Eddie Garcia said.

Eddie Garcia was transferred from University Medical Center to Health South Henderson over the weekend. Monday was his first day of physical therapy, and he said it went better than he imagined.

He plans to try out prosthetic legs this week and get them ordered soon. He wants to get back to coaching his kids' teams by summer.

Antoinette Garcia's parents live in town. They just bought a one-story home for them all to live in when Eddie Garcia is released from the hospital. It will accommodate his new disability.

The Garcias do have insurance, but it doesn't pay for everything. If you'd like to donate to them, head to Chase Bank and donate to the Be Strong and Win Foundation.

Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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