Flesh Eating Bacteria Causes Firefighter to Lose Hand

By Candice Naranjo

Sat Jul 19th, 2014 11:43am America/Los_Angeles

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NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island firefighter who got an infection after being pricked by a thorn has lost his hand to flesh-eating bacteria.

Thirty-two-year-old Braden Leonard, of Newport, says he was biking in Ballard Park in June when he fell and a thorn pricked his right hand.

The nine-year veteran of the Johnston Fire Department had inflammation, fever and fatigue, and his friends persuaded him to go to the emergency room.

Doctors diagnosed the rare necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as a flesh-eating infection. They amputated the hand to stop the infection’s spread. He was in the hospital for 10 days.

Leonard says he’s in good spirits and feels lucky to be alive. He says he hopes to be fitted with a prosthetic and return to his job as a firefighter.

(Copyright 2014, The Associated Press, All rights reserved.)

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