Military Veteran Dies After Multiple Operations to Remove Flesh Eating Bacteria

September 3, 2019 Updated: September 3, 2019

Family and friends are mourning the death of a Florida navy veteran who lost his battle against a rare flesh-eating disease on August 29.

Orlando resident David Ireland passed away at the age of 50 after undergoing at least three surgical procedures to remove about a quarter of his skin affected by necrotizing fasciitis. The rare bacterial infection usually enters through a break in the skin and rapidly spreads throughout the body with at times deadly results, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

“He fought very hard against this disease,” Ireland’s brother Daniel said on a Gofundme fundraiser page for the family.

David began feeling unwell on August 16 and complained to wife Jody about feeling flu-like symptoms, body aches, and a fever.

Five days later the symptoms became more severe and included extreme pain in his groin and leg areas, prompting the worried woman to rush David to hospital.

“It was unexpected,” she told Fox News. “He was fine one minute and sick the next.”

Daniel revealed his brother remained in a critical condition at Florida Hospital’s intensive care unit.

“His kidneys have failed, his blood pressure and acid numbers from his liver … [were] starting to level off,” he said on Gofundme, hoping to raise $20,000 to pay the family’s hospital bills and living expenses.

Jody said her husband also needed a reversible colostomy procedure to “help prevent his bowel movements from entering his open wounds.”

“They will also be checking for more infection and if so taking more skin off, and replacing his catheter,” she said at the time on Gofundme.

However, about a week later David lost his battle with the disease.

His obituary revealed David was born in Kampala, Uganda and served the U.S. Navy and reserves each for four years. He more recently worked as an attractions trainer at Universal Orlando.

“[He] always provided a calm, peaceful, fun atmosphere for his coworkers,” the obituary said.

He is survived by his wife Jody, children Aaron (25), Laura (25), Ruth (7), Rebekah (5), and grandchild Isabella.

“In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Camp Horizon,” the obituary said.

The fundraiser had collected at least $17,240 at the time of publication.

“Your prayers and financial support is greatly appreciated,” Daniel said on Gofundme. “He meant the world to all of us.”