Brittany Williams shows off her badly damaged left eye after it was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria that “melted” her cornea.
A young Texas mom went blind in her eye after flesh-eating bacteria seeped its way into a cut during a “Mud Run” earlier this month in Dallas.
Brittany Williams has no insurance and, after a week week in the hospital, now owes more than $100,000 in medical bills — even as she faces more treatment to prevent the debilitating bacteria from spreading through her body.
“My eye started hurting, like maybe I’ve got mud or some debris in there,”Brittany Williams told of the symptoms she had hours after the race. “When I opened my eye, it was just like white. The whole room was white.”
Doctors at the emergency room told Williams she had “several abrasions on her cornea and what looked like a chemical burn” and eventually sent her home, raising donations for the family.
Some 24 hours later, “things took a turn for the worse” and she was hospitalized. Her cornea “just completely melted off of my eye,” she told of the flesh-eating bacteria.
Williams is now blind in her left eye and likely needs more antibiotics to prevent the bacteria, necrotizing fasciitis, from spreading throughout her bloodstream.
Despite working two jobs, Williams chose to opt out of her insurance and will have to pay her medical bills out of pocket.
“I’ve had health insurance before and I never used it. I never went to the doctor and I just spent lots of money for nothing. So I didn’t see the point at the time when we couldn’t afford it,” she said. “You don’t think you’re going to go to the doctor and someone’s gonna say you owe $3,000 for eye drops.”
Bacteria is reportedly rampant at mud races like the one Williams ran and similar Tough Mudder-like events. A report last May from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 22 people contracted a diarrheal illness in October 2012, likely because they accidentally swallowed water contaminated with bacteria from animal feces during an extreme obstacle course in Nevada.
And in France, after a Mud Day race on Saturday, at least 30 runners of about 8,000 became “violently ill” from gastroenteritis, according to French news site The Local. The sickness may stem from mud contaminated with bacteria.
Williams, for her part, is trying to stay positive about the ordeal. There is a chance she could regain her sight, but several doctors have refused to treat her because she doesn’t have insurance.
About 170 have donated nearly $10,000 to the stricken mom since her ordeal began two weeks ago.
“Even though people go through horrible things, I make the best of it,” “Because there’s no point in sitting and sulking, because it’s just going to make the rest of my days miserable.”