60-year-old Angel Perez was crabbing along the Maurice River in New Jersey when he contracted a flesh-eating bacteria - now doctors say he might have to choose between his life and his limbs.
Perez's daughter, Dilena Perez-Dilan, says her father is an avid crabber. Photos taken by the family show the discoloration and swelling.
VNF is referred to as a flesh-eating bacteria because the infection results in tissue damage and death.
"It can be unsafe and we don't know what we're getting into when we get in there", Perez-Dilan told WPVI.More news: USA to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports
"Typically, when you get an infection like this, it enters through an existing wound and can spread throughout the bloodstream and can cause other complications such as necrotizing fasciitis, which he unfortunately got", said Cumberland County Health Officer Megan Sheppard.
Now the man, who also has Parkinson's Disease, is in critical condition at the Cooper University Hospital. "They have blisters, cuts and sores". His daughter said they will see how he responds to treatment before considering amputation of at least three - or possibly all - of his limbs.
A local family says their father is fighting for his life and his limbs.
'She got antibiotics right away.More news: Trump's broadside against Germany at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation finds some support at home
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.
Nonetheless, the family says Perez is in good spirits.
"He's been praising God nonstop", Perez-Dilan said. "He's just happy to have a second chance". "Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous". "I think our spirituality, our religion, has been allowing us to get through without going into a chaotic mess". "That's why they do use boots - people use boots and covers to protect themselves".
Perez had to have a leg surgically drained as an infectious disease doctor investigated the cause of the infection.More news: Veteran striker Fernando Torres accepts offer to join Sagan Tosu
Those with open wounds are encouraged by the New Jersey Health Department to avoid brackish water, according to WPVI.