Kennewick Man Contracts Flesh-Eating Bacteria - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Man Contracts Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash.--"When I'd found out that he'd actually been to the walk-in clinic and medivacced to Harborview (Medical Center), it was kind of a shock," says Jim Sedgwick, Paul Kelly's friend.

For Paul Kelly, a father of three, it was a combination of Strep throat and pain in his right leg.

"He was just home in bed not feeling well and the pain in his leg and his arm, his right leg, left arm just increased and got worse and worse," mentions Jennifer Franco."

Jennifer Franco is Paul's sister-in-law. She says after Paul was admitted into Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, doctors realized he had contracted a rare infection called Necrotizing Fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria that destroys skin and tissue.

"The doctors were telling Marie, his wife that this is very, very serious," says Franco. This is very, very serious and you need your family here. Your husband may not live through this surgery."

Considered lucky to be alive, Paul's friend and Bechtel co-worker, Jim Sedgwick says doctors had to amputate Paul's left forearm and remove much of his right calf muscle.

"I'm sure he'll deal with these challenges like he's dealt with other challenges in his life," affirms Sedgwick."

"His spirit is very good," says Franco. He's grateful to be alive. He just wants to get well and get home, be with his family."

Meanwhile, Paul is hoping Sedgwick picks up the beer tab when he returns home.

"He'll be looking forward most definitely to a pint of Guinness," says Sedgwick. I spoke with him about it and he said he'd give me the pleasure of buying him the first pint when he comes out."

Community Fundraisers for Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly's Band-Aid featuring Whyte Lyte, Blue is Cold and BRICK
FRIDAY, April 25th, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.
Clarion Hotel, Richland WA
For tickets: call 509.371.2762 or 509.371.3663

"The PK Classic" (Paul Kelly Benefit Golf Tournament)
FRIDAY, May 2nd, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.
Horn Rapids Golf Course
For tickets: call 509.371.3737 or 509.373.8648