Oak Creek man recalls his fight against flesh eating bacteria

Oak Creek man recalls his fight against flesh eating bacteria

By WTMJ News Team. CREATED May 23, 2012

OAK CREEK- Bacteria eating away at someone's tissue and skin.  It sounds like something you'd see in a horror movie.

But real cases are happening right now in Georgia and South Carolina.  It even attacked an Oak Creek man a few years ago.

Scott Prodzinski appeared to be fine, just a torn muscle.  But two days later he experienced a pain he says was indescribable.

And the next thing he knew, he woke up in a Milwaukee hospital, two months later, missing half his torso.

If life was a game of softball, Scott Prodzinski would have been out before he even cleared second base.  He wasn't favored to win, "My kidneys shut down. My liver shut down. My lung shut down. I was the typical poster child for anything that could go wrong, went wrong," said Prodzinski.

Ten years ago, Scott was dying. His flesh was being eaten away, "They put me in a coma so I couldn't even tell you what type of pain there was," recalled Prodzinski.

He went from being active and playing out on the baseball diamond to fighting for his life in a hyperbaric chamber.

While raising a family, it's a photo album Scott's wife, Diane, never thought she'd have.

Back then their kids were one and three.  Diane and Scott had been married for two years and they were just starting out when doctors said it was all quickly coming to an end.

At a rate of an inch an hour, doctors had to operate, remove the rotting flesh and get ahead of the bacteria.

Scott woke up 19 surgeries later, after a two month coma.  They had to remove his lymph nodes, it's why now, his left arm is so disproprtionate.  But he almost lost the entire arm all together.

It's a traumatic path the Prodzinskis have walked and they want others to know they're not alone. 

For Scott, he didn't just want to clear second, he wanted to knock it out of the park.

The chances of suffering from flesh eating bacteria are extremely rare.

The best way to defend yourself?  Clean cuts with soap and water.

And if you start to feel pain that is disproportionate to the wound, go the doctor immediately.

One of the victims in Georgia will likely have her hands and a foot amputated.  A man in South Carolina has had five surgeries, but he's now in "good condition."