OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss.- A lover of water, Nick Duvernay tried to spend every chance he could around it as a diver, fisherman or spear fisher. What Duvernay and his family didn’t know was that one trip to the beach and a swim in the Gulf of Mexico would turn out to be his last.
After not feeling well for a couple of days Duvernay’s fiancé took him to the hospital concerned when he said he couldn’t breathe.
“At first they said congestive heart failure, because he had a lot of fluid on his belly and on his legs,” Duvernay’s sister, Sarah Duvernay Montgomery told WLOX. “He had problems with high blood pressure for a long time and he had left it untreated, unfortunately, so I believe his organs were already in a weakened state.”
Doctors noticed Duvernay was having kidney failure and Montgomery said they admitted him to the ICU Wednesday night. Doctors drained some of the fluid from his stomach, but had to stop because his blood pressure was dropping too low.
Things didn’t get any better from there.
“His leg kept swelling and his leg actually started to burst open, the back of his leg,” Montgomery explained. “They realized then they were dealing with something much scarier than they thought at first.”
Montgomery said doctors told the family Duvernay’s kidneys were shutting down and he had an infection in his blood. Thursday morning, Duvernay had surgery on his leg to try and remove the infection, but things continued to take a turn for the worst.
By 2 p.m. Thursday, Montgomery said doctors advised the family that if anyone wanted to see Duvernay, they better come now. Duvernay began having liver failure, his respiratory system was shutting down, and he was on a ventilator.
Eight hours later, the family’s devastated with news that Nick Duvernay passed away.
Still in shock, Montgomery wants to warn everyone who swims in the Gulf of Mexico.
“If you are going to go out there and be in the water, just make sure you don’t have any cuts on you, especially if you have a weaker immune system like Nick did from being sick,” Montgomery said. “If you get cut out there, go in immediately. Don’t let this go and hope for the best, because within four days my brother was dead.”
Montgomery said her brother was very close with his family and had plans to tie the knot with his fiancé of five years this fall.
According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), flesh eating bacteria is very serious and needs to be treated immediately. If you experience redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area, blisters, nausea, fever, vomiting and other flulike symptoms do not wait to get it checked out. The symptoms develop very rapidly, usually within 24 hours after a wound in the skin has allowed the bacteria to invade the tissues beneath the skin.