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

Vegas man survives flesh-eating bacteria, progresses

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Eddie Garcia at home. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5) Eddie Garcia at home. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5)
Garcia recovers in the hospital. (Garcia family) Garcia recovers in the hospital. (Garcia family)
Garcia and the basketball team he coaches. (Garcia family) Garcia and the basketball team he coaches. (Garcia family)

It's been six months since Eddie Garcia contracted necrotizing fasciitis and nearly died. His doctors back in January gave him a 20 percent chance of survival. He slipped into a coma for nearly two weeks and ended up losing his hands and feet.

"I had a one in 10 million chance of contracting flesh-eating bacteria and I just happened to get it," Garcia said.

Doctors still don't know how he got it.

Garcia was determined to get back to his active lifestyle.

He was fitted for prosthetics in late March and walked right back into coaching his 10-year-old daughter's basketball team.

"It's been more amazing than I could have imagined. It's been my mental and physical therapy. I get out there and quite honestly I do not feel disabled," Garcia said.

Of course his new life comes with challenges.

His family moved into a new one story home that formerly housed an amputee, making it already accessible for Garcia.

His prosthetics can be uncomfortable while he looks for the perfect model and fit, and it can be very tiring.

Garcia's wife is there by his side cheering him on. She guides him through their new journey where seemingly simple things are huge milestones.

"We went out the other day and he opened the car door on his own and I said, 'Oh really? We can open the car door by ourselves now? OK, you're on your own now.' [laughs] The more independent he gets, the easier it gets," Antoinette Garcia said.

Eddie Garcia said he lost his own father when he was 9 years old and felt his whole life prepared him for this. He said no matter what happens, he wants to be there for his kids.

"I know what it's like to grow up without my dad and how difficult it was and the struggles I went through. I'm just glad even in a situation like this, without hands and feet, to be here for my kids," Eddie Garcia said.

He encourages everyone to live life to the fullest and not limit your dreams.

He plans to get back to work with CCSD in a new capacity next school year.

He also plans to run the Las Vegas Marathon in November.

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

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