A 31-year-old man swam in the Gulf of Mexico after getting a new tattoo — despite doctor’s warnings against it — and sadly passed away after contracting a flesh-eating bacterial infection.
The unidentified man had gotten a tattoo of a crucifix and a pair of praying hands on his right calf five days before going for a dip. Shortly after swimming, he began to experience fever, chills and a rash close to his fresh ink. It was confirmed that he had contracted sepsis on his calf, which had turned a dark purple by the time he went to the hospital two days later.
Within 24 hours of being admitted into the hospital, the man was on life support and was suffering from organ failure. His condition then improved slightly, but began deteriorating two weeks later. He reportedly suffered from septic shock, which doctors believe was amplified by his years of alcohol abuse leaving him susceptible to the vibrio vulnificus bug. Eventually, his kidneys failed, and he passed away.
Although the man’s nationality has not been released, vibriosis causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States each year. The infection can be caused by consuming raw or undercooked seafood or by exposing a wound to seawater, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.