Universal Orlando employee contracts flesh-eating bacteria, has 25% of skin removed

David Ireland admitted to Orlando hospital

By Nicky Zizaza - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man who works at Universal Orlando has had more than 25% of his skin removed after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria, according to a report.

David Ireland, who was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, is in critical condition at a Florida hospital, according to a GoFundMe set up by his brother. He's undergone three operations.

The father of four started having flu-like symptoms about a week ago when doctors admitted him to an emergency room in Orlando. 

"He thought he had the flu, in fact he did one of those dial-a-doctor and he was told he had the flu,"  said his mother, Lois Ireland.

She said after he was diagnosed and put on antibiotics, he underwent surgery.

"His leg has no skin on it at all, no fat tissue, it's up halfway up his back," she said.

It's not known how David Ireland contracted the bacteria but doctors suspect it entered his bloodstream somehow and started attacking his muscles.

"He had a little cut, he doesn't know how he got it and then the next thing you know i'ts strep A," Lois Ireland said.

It turns out the skin on his leg was dying from a bacterial infection called strep A, a very common bacteria that normally leads to a sore throat. 

His family is clinging on to their faith and using this incident as a warning to others about the life-threatening infection.

"It just takes a break in the skin, you don't have to fall over and tear up your whole leg and say, 'Uh oh, now I got that,'" Lois Ireland said.

Although the 50-year-old Orlando man is not responsive, he is expected to undergo surgery on Wednesday.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family with medical costs.

“David is still in a life-threatening situation, but there are some small victories every day. I miss my best friend very much and pray every day that God will spare his life and bring him back home to me and our children,” said David’s wife, Jody Ireland, on the GoFundMe page.

David Ireland and his wife, who also works at Universal, have two daughters, 7 and 4.

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