A Georgia woman currently in graduate school is in critical condition fighting a rare flesh-eating infection that she contracted after cutting her leg in a zip-line accident. The accident happened when the zip-line snapped, plunging the woman into the rocky river below. When she entered the water, she suffered a deep gash to her leg from the rocks in the river. She was taken to a local emergency room where doctors closed her wound with staples. Within a few days, her wound became infected and she returned to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating bacteria infection.

Although flesh-eating bacteria infections are rare, they are very dangerous. Once the bacteria enter the body, they quickly reproduce and cut off blood flow to parts of the body. The bacteria can destroy muscle, fat, and skin tissue. To save the life of a patient suffering from flesh-eating bacteria, physicians must surgically remove affected areas to stop the disease from spreading to vital organs.

In the case of the Georgia woman, doctors have amputated most of her left leg and expect to also amputate her hands and right foot. She also faces a long recovery from kidney failure and other organ damage caused by the infection.

This woman has suffered a catastrophic injury and she will have to deal with the repercussions of it for the rest of her life. Not only has she suffered this serious injury, but it is quite clear to me, as a personal injury lawyer, that this injury was wrongfully caused. First, in a dangerous activity like a zip-line, the operators owe their customers a duty to use the upmost caution and diligence to ensure that the mechanism is operating safely and properly. In this instance, the unknown flaw which caused the zip-line to break likely could have been detected if the operators had used due diligence. Second, the emergency room physicians who stapled the woman’s leg may not have taken the proper precautions to avoid an infection.

Regardless of who is ultimately found to be at fault, this woman suffered a terrible injury that was wrongfully caused and I hope to see those responsible held liable for their mistakes. Most importantly, I hope this young woman is able to make a full recovery and return to her normal life to the greatest extent possible after such a horrific event.