Man could lose limbs after contracting flesh-eating bacteria in New Jersey waters

His family said he suffers from Parkinson's which puts him at an increased risk for severe infection

The Perez family is hoping for the best, but right now living day-by-day. Perez's daughter Dilena Perez-Dilan said her father's right leg quickly "turned (a) brown, blackish color" after he exited the brackish waters.

She said her father's swelling was so severe, his limbs didn't look real.

The bacteria that Perez contracted is called Vibrio necrotizing fasciitis.

The disease has spread to all four of his limbs, causing discoloration and blisters. Doctors said an amputation to stop the infection from spreading to his vital organs is a possibility. His forearms are black in color, they have blisters, cuts and sores'.

Vibrio vulnificus infections are rare - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sees only about 200 cases a year, according to the agency - but severe.

The bacteria can also be spread through eating raw shellfish.

Instagram model recovering after shark bite in the Bahamas
Katarina posted them to social media, where she's been overwhelmed with comments asking for details. When asked why she went ahead anyway, she replied, "It's just a once-in-a-lifetime experience".

The swelling started around scratches that Perez had on his right leg, family told WTXF. The bacteria is more risky to those with compromised immune systems, like Perez, who has Parkinson's disease.

Perez wasn't the only person to develop startling symptoms after going into the river.

Angel Perez, 60, of Millville, Jersey, was catching crabs last week (left and right) off the Maurice River.

Representatives from the Cumberland County Department of Health could not immediately be reached by TIME for comment, but told NJ.com that this type of bacteria is known to exist in waters in New Jersey, especially in summertime.

State and county officials have acknowledged that Vibrio bacteria "is not uncommon for the waters" but can not do much aside from advising people to stay out of brackish water, according to NJ Advance Media. With the prognosis still unknown, the Perez family is praying Angel leaves the hospital with his life and limbs. "Don't just jump in the water with wounds open". But, that's what people do. "Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous. If you see something that's out of the norm, go and get it checked".

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