Metro Detroit woman battling flesh-eating bacteria - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Metro Detroit woman battling flesh-eating bacteria

Posted: Updated:
Crystal Spencer Crystal Spencer
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

It is the first time in years that somebody from Michigan is battling the flesh-eating bacteria.  A Farmington Hills woman is fighting for her life as she tries to beat it.  The 33-year-old is bedridden in the hospital not able to talk and getting help just to breathe.

"It's just hard.  I can't do this," said Jeff Spencer.

He is worried about his wife, Crystal, dealing with flesh-eating bacteria.  He and a friend took her to Botsford Hospital because of a growth on her leg.  That was the end of June.

After being treated, Crystal just didn't feel well, leading her right back to the hospital.

"She started not eating, just kept complaining of terrible pain in her leg and her abdomen until he finally took her back in," said Theresa Corwin.

Now with a 30 to 40-percent chance of survival, the family's medical bills are piling up.  Crystal's case is rare according to the DMC's Dr. Joel Kahn.

"I understand this poor woman was in the hospital recently.  You can pick up bad bugs in the hospital, and then you might be dealing with kind of a supercharged, super-guerrilla bacteria that is just going to fly through your tissues," he said.

The bacteria, known as necrotizing fasciitis, is just one strain and it moves quickly, not only eating away at the body's flesh, but infecting the body with toxins.  The bacteria spreading after a growth or cut leaves the body open to the infection.

"You might be able to get the tissue and the bacteria out and then with antibiotics, but these bacteria make toxins, poisons, and you may not have by cutting that little part out all the toxins in the body removed.  They may still be working on other tissue, kidneys, the brain," Kahn explained.

The doctor said this type of bacteria is rare, but we may end up seeing more of it in the near future.  The reason?  More people dealing with diabetes, obesity and also alcoholism.

"I think we will be seeing more of this.  An alcoholic that has a decreased immune function, somebody using drugs, somebody with cancer or very old age, so that's a big part of the population, particularly if you add in diabetes and then you're ability to fight off what might start as a very simple infection is diminished."

For the Spencers, doctors are hoping it doesn't spread, and Jeff is hoping for more happy times if Crystal is able to fight it.

"I don't think they're going to cover it because we didn't get approval for it," he said.

So already, tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills are piling up.  If you would like to help this family, the Crystal Spencer Recovery Fund has been set up at the LOC Federal Credit Union.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Detroit Tigers Minor League Pitcher charged with sexual assault.

    Detroit Tigers Minor League Pitcher charged with sexual assault.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:46:42 GMT
    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Evan Reed, is charged with two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct.
    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Evan Reed, is charged with two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct.
  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices