Barry Wallace always loved to take his mom’s beloved dog, Harley, on walks. So when canine accidentally scratched his arm when he jumped up in excitement, the 48-year-old didn’t think much of it.
Little did he know that the small cut would change his life forever.Barry Wallace/GoFundMe
It all started when Wallace greeted the dog on a visit to his mom’s house. The father told the Daily Mail:
“He jumped up and scratched my arm with his teeth. It was just a tiny scratch, the size of your fingernail. It drew blood, but it was so small that I didn’t give it another thought. He was excited to see me and it was just like a paper cut.”
The day carried on as normal, but that night he started to experience some of the worst stomach pains he ever had, according to his GoFundMe.
His girlfriend, Naomi Watt, said things had taken a turn for the worse by the next day. She said:
‘”We thought he’d eaten something dodgy, or had a stomach bug, so he went to bed. But the next day he was getting worse and felt really ill. I was starting to panic that he wasn’t right. His face had gone a bit purple and he was in agony.”
They called an ambulance and Wallace heard Naomi telling paramedics that his skin had turned black, he said. Then he fell unconscious, only to wake up six weeks later.
It turned out that he had contracted capnocytophaga, a bacteria found in dogs and cats mouths’, reported the Daily Record.Barry Wallace/GoFundMe
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the bacteria can be spread through bites and scratches, but it’s very rare.
People with weak immune systems are more susceptible. Of those infected, roughly 30 percent die, some within 24 to 72 hours.
The bacteria in Wallace caused sepsis, an infection of the bloodstream. It left his body devastated, he wrote on GoFundMe:
The next thing I remember was waking up six weeks later to be told my kidneys weren’t working so dialysis for the rest of my life and they were going to cut my legs off from the knee down!
The father had his feet amputated and will eventually undergo an operation to remove his legs.
Even though the family doesn’t blame the dog for the deadly incident, they gave him away to another family. Naomi said:
“I know it wasn’t the dog’s fault, but it’s one of those things that’s happened that has changed everything. It wasn’t a savage bite, but it’s destroyed our lives and turned things upside down.”
The father currently crawls throughout the house in order to get around. He hopes to get prosthetics after the surgery to remove his legs.
Until then, Wallace is currently collecting donations in order to afford a wheelchair.