VOLUSIA COUNTY —
The widow, as well as the daughter, of a man who lost his life after being exposed to deadly bacteria in a Volusia County river has a warning for others.
Both women want health officials to post warnings before someone else falls victim to the microscopic killer.
Henry “Butch” Konietzsky’s family returned to the spot where they’re certain the deadly bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, entered his body a week ago near High Bridge park on the Halifax River.
“This spot is where we had our chairs set up. This is where we were,” said Patti, Butch’s wife.
Doctors told her they believe the bacteria entered Butch’s body through something as simple as an ant bite while they were fishing for crabs in the salty waters.
They went home that night and Patti said Butch began complaining about a wound on his ankle, which slowly started growing and multiplied in a matter of hours.
By then, Butch was in excruciating pain and was rushed to Florida Hospital Flagler in Palm Coast.
“I just thought he was going to be okay, I mean, I really thought it was a spider bite. So, we’re all in shock still,” said Butch’s daughter, Sheila.
Doctors told them the killer bacteria were devouring platelets almost as soon as Butch was given a transfusion.
He died within 28 hours.
“It is deadly. I’m proof of that. I lost my partner. I lost the person I did this with,” said Patti.
Pattie learned another person died this month after being exposed to the deadly bacteria near the same spot.
So far, 26 cases were reported in the state, nine of them fatal.
The previous cases and deaths were news to Patti and Sheila.
“Never did we hear about any bacteria in the water. We would’ve taken precautions. We would’ve worn boots,” she said, sobbing.
Both women are taking it upon themselves to tell people about the bacteria.
They hope the health department posts signs alerting other fishermen and crabbers.
“My worst nightmare is that nothing gets done about it,” said Sheila.
Pattie said she hopes to see warning signs before someone else loses a loved one to the same killer bacteria
Henry ”Butch” Konietzsky was killed by a deadly bacteria
via Woman warns of deadly bacteria that killed husband
VOLUSIA COUNTY —