It couldn't have started more innocently: Lynn Fleming, a 77-year-old Florida resident, was walking along the beach on Anna Maria Island when she stumbled, her son tells FOX 13. "There was a little depression that she couldn't see because it was under the water," says Wade Fleming. "She fell into it, came out with a little 3/4-inch cut." Nobody thought much of it, but the injury kept getting more and more painful. Fleming went to an urgent care facility two days later and received a tetanus shot and antibiotics, reports NBC News. But things only worsened the following day, when she was hospitalized and diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis.
"Her friends found her pretty much unconscious and on her bedroom floor," says daughter-in-law Traci Fleming. “They called an ambulance.” As it turns out, Fleming would never leave the hospital. She died less than two weeks after the initial injury. Among the warning signs: Fleming's leg gradually became red and swollen after she tripped, and her shin essentially turned black. She also developed a fever. (A 12-year-old girl vacationing in Florida survived her own close call with flesh-eating bacteria.)