TAMPA, Fla. (KSDK) - The muscle and tendons are exposed without the skin on his leg as David Bruns sleeps through a medically-induced coma in a Tampa, Fla. hospital. This is not how he and his wife were going to spend their 13th year on vacation in Madeira Beach, near Clearwater.
The Bruns, who live in Franklin County, Mo., come every year to have fun in the sun on sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets. It's hard for David and Samantha to love the beach this time. Ten minutes in the water, ten feet from shore, a flesh eating bacteria attacked David's leg.
"The next day he wasn't feeling well. He ran a fever, had the chills, we went to the emergency room," said Samantha.
Doctors didn't know what was wrong right away. A purplish discoloration kept creeping up David's leg.
"The back of his left thigh to his foot and below the knee to his toes. They've been removing skin from his leg," said Samantha.
Two surgeries got the bacteria out. Doctors cut away the skin and flesh. They'll put skin grafts on the exposed areas.
The bills are piling up for the Bruns as they go into their third week in Florida. The bacteria attacked David Sept. 17. Their friends set up a website to help them pay their bills.
Samantha knows her husband is lucky. Nine people died from flesh eating bacteria this year in Florida, and it has infected 27 others. It lives and thrives in warm waters.
Health investigators have closed parts of the beach.
"It's pretty scary. I would have been more worried in a lake," said Samantha.
She doesn't know if the sunsets and sandy beaches will still be calling them next year. But she does know she won't go when the water is warm and full of danger.
Click here to visit the GoFundMe page established to raise money to pay David's medical bills, and to help keep Samantha in Florida by his side.