A dad bitten by an insect on holiday was horrified when he developed a serious infection – and doctors told him he could lose his LEG.
Garry Darton, 56, went to Cuba with his wife, Sally, and some friends but a week after he came home he was admitted to hospital.
Doctors believe that his badly infected leg was caused by an organism from the sea in Cuba entering a bite he had scratched, causing the serious infection.
Grandfather of two Garry from Preston, Lancs., said: “The weather was very hot and humid and as a result I got bitten.
“The bites itch so naturally you scratch them. I know people say you shouldn’t but you just can’t help it and it gets too unbearable not to scratch them.”
Garry returned home and started work as a salesman again but suddenly started feeling unwell almost a week later.
He said: “I suddenly felt all cold but my leg felt really hot and was looking a bit inflamed.
“I went to the hospital’s Medical Assessment Ward and thought they would just give me some pills.
“I totally wasn’t expecting to be admitted to hospital for the next 12 days.”
Doctors knew Garry was suffering from cellulitis – a bacterial infection affecting the inner layers of skin – but they didn’t know its cause.
It was a serious infection and after his leg was considered out of danger, Garry’s wife told him it was so serious he could have lost his limb.
Garry said: “My leg looked a right mess and was extremely red, blistered, swollen and enlarged. It hurt like hell.”
Fortunately, the IV antibiotics started working and Garry’s leg eventually started to go down.
Garry said: “If I had seen it on someone else’s leg, I would have been astounded by how bad it was.
“Doctors and nurses at the hospital kept taking photographs of my leg. They are planning to use it in training as an example of what cellulitis can look like.”
Garry is now back at work but stairs are still proving difficult and his attitude towards getting bitten has definitely changed.
He said: “Whatever it was got a real hold of me. It lay dormant in my body for a week and then just knocked me out.
“Doctors have said it was a good job I went to hospital when I did as it could have been a lot worse.”
He added: “It has not put me off going on holiday. But next time, I will definitely be packing some insect repellent!”