News 12 at 11 / Thursday, April 11, 2013
EVANS, Ga. (WRDW) — Bumps, cuts and bruises are a fact of life, but for a local teen, a slip on a rock at the Savannah Rapids takes a turn for the worst when he contracts flesh-eating bacteria.
Eighteen-year-old Stephen Holt is lucky to be alive.
“Still upsets me thinking about it. He almost lost his leg or his life,” mother Maryann Elam said through tears.
It’s a terrifying thought after a normal trip to the Savannah Rapids turned into a nightmare for the Lakeside High senior.
“I fell down into the river and hit a rock underwater and it cut down to the bone,” Holt remembered.
What was thought to be fixed with eight simple stiches, turned out to be something much more dangerous.
“As soon as they looked at his leg, they knew immediately. Within an hour they had him in surgery,” Elam said.
A second trip to the hospital told Holt he had contracted Necrotizing Faciitis, the same flesh-eating bacteria that caused Aimee Copeland to lose both feet, a leg, and her hands.
“This disease, Necrotizing Fasciitis is extremely rare. We have around 500 to 1500 cases every year. It’s pretty much the fight against time to save a person’s life,” explained infectious diseases physician Dr. Tarak Patel.
For Holt, the clock was ticking.
“It took four surgeries, one