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Home > Topics > Fire-EMS

R.I. firefighter loses hand to flesh-eating bacteria

Braden Leonard, 32, was biking when he fell and a thorn pricked his right hand; his hand was amputated to stop the infection

The Associated Press

NEWPORT, R.I. — A Rhode Island firefighter who got an infection after being pricked by a thorn has lost his hand to flesh-eating bacteria.

Thirty-two-year-old Braden Leonard, of Newport, says he was biking in Ballard Park in June when he fell and a thorn pricked his right hand.

The nine-year veteran of the Johnston Fire Department had inflammation, fever and fatigue, and his friends persuaded him to go to the emergency room.

News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Doctors diagnosed the rare necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as a flesh-eating infection. They amputated the hand to stop the infection's spread. He was in the hospital for 10 days.

Associated PressCopyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Leonard tells WJAR-TV he's in good spirits and feels lucky to be alive. He says he hopes to be fitted with a prosthetic and return to his job as a firefighter.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Tammie Hurst Tammie Hurst Tuesday, July 22, 2014 7:08:11 AM glad you went to the hospital when you did or the out come could have been a lot grandmother was not so lucky
Lisa Rigdon Lisa Rigdon Tuesday, July 22, 2014 6:17:21 PM Where did it come from? What plant was it? Is this being investigated further??
Melissa McKibben Melissa McKibben Tuesday, July 22, 2014 8:41:39 PM Lisa: it wasn't the type of plant that mattered, just that it had a thorn that penetrated the skin and allowed the necrotizing fasciitis infection to take hold. This bacteria can occur in any cut, scrape, rug burn, etc., though fortunately it seldom manages to take hold and do what it did to this poor guy's hand.
Christer Åkesson Christer Åkesson Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:55:56 PM Spray with Kollodiai Silver too kill bacteria ,works fine also with antibiotics,,Good Luck !

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