Insect Bites and Flesh-Eating Bacteria: Jay Fox in Bermuda

The flesh-eating bacteria is everywhere. We’ve already blogged about cases in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.

Now here’s a case from Bermuda which involves Jay Fox, a gospel singer from Bermuda who was infected with the disease after he was stung by a wasp. This does not mean, of course, that insect bites can give you this deadly disease. However, insect bites can open wounds which can serve as the “door” for the opportunistic bacteria.

Here’s Jay’s survivor story via the Royal Gazette:

Bermudian gospel singer Jay Fox is pretty confident he has evidence about the power of prayer.

Last June, thanks to a freak accident, he had a ten percent chance of survival. Prayer was all that stood between him and the great beyond.

Mr. Fox spoke for the first time with The Royal Gazette about his miraculous recovery after being attacked by a rare, flesh eating bacteria.

Mr. Fox and his wife Catherine moved to Crossville, Tennessee, in 1996 to pursue respective careers in music and equestrian riding.

Prior to moving to the United States, Mr. Fox was purchasing director at the Elbow Beach Hotel, and sang around the Island extensively.

But it was his interest in carpentry that led to one of the most horrific events of his life.

“A friend of mine asked me to make her a sculpture table,” said Mr. Fox.

The friend suggested Mr. Fox use wood from a pile in a field near her house.

“When I went to lift up the wood, there was a wasp’s nest there,” he said. “I had disturbed them. I had thick jeans on and I didn’t realise one had stung me just above my right knee.”

Mr. Fox was not allergic to bees or wasps, and went on with his day.

“Two hours later I was nauseated and felt a terrible pain in my leg,” said Mr. Fox. “I went home and lay down for a while.”

The pain only got worse. He went to the hospital, but was sent home. The only worrying sign that the doctor saw was a developing purple bruise near the sting site.

Mr. Fox was in pain the rest of the night, and early in the morning, began to suffer from septic shock. He was rushed back to the hospital.

“By the time I reached the hospital, I was in a coma state,” said Mr. Fox, who was aged 59, when he was stung.

A hole opened at the wasp sting site and began spreading rapidly. He was flown to St. Thomas Hospital, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mr. Fox was eventually diagnosed with Group A streptococcal infection. He had a rare flesh eating bacteria in his leg.

“Eventually, the doctors told my wife I only had a ten percent chance of living,” said Mr. Fox, who has four grown children.

The family gathered together at the hospital, waiting to hear the worst. “By this time it was too late to even save my leg,” said Mr. Fox. “It was so rapidly tearing up my leg. By this time it was entering the upper part of my body, and shutting down my organs.”