Upstate man battles rare flesh-eating disease - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate man battles rare flesh-eating disease

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Former Travelers Rest Fire Chief Glenn Pace said he is battling a rare flesh-eating bacteria. (May 11, 2012/FOX Carolina) Former Travelers Rest Fire Chief Glenn Pace said he is battling a rare flesh-eating bacteria. (May 11, 2012/FOX Carolina)
TRAVELERS REST, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A former Upstate fire chief said he is battling the same flesh-eating bacteria that a Georgia student is suffering from after a zip-lining accident.

Aimee Copeland, 24, lost her left leg. She caught the disease after a homemade zip line injury earlier this month. Doctors are now saying she will likely lose her hands and remaining foot. 

Her parents, who are both from Spartanburg, tell us Aimee is showing signs of recovery and they're staying optimistic. 

Former Travelers Rest Fire Chief Glenn Pace said he is battling the same disease. It all began April 4 with an excruciating pain on his left foot.

"I took my shoe and sock off. I noticed my foot across the bridge was swollen and hot to touch," said Pace. 

Pace said a few hours later it got worse and he came to St. Francis Emergency Room. 

"They treated me with a couple bags of antibiotics via IV and said get in touch with doctor the next day," he said. 

But the next day was Good Friday, so he ended up back at the ER because the foot pain began to spread.  That's when Pace said the doctors yelled, "Get him admitted now." 

"My doctor saw that the bacteria had moved from my foot up to my knee," Pace said. 

Pace said he was in a lot of pain.  He spent 20 days at St. Francis undergoing three different surgeries and doctors were talking about amputating his left leg. But thankfully he didn't have to go that route.

It has been more than a month since this all began, and Pace and his doctors still don't know how he contracted this rare disease.

"There were really no open wounds that caused this happening.  It started with my foot swelling," Pace said.  

Right now, Pace said he's thankful he didn't lose his leg or worse, his life.

"By the grace of God, I am still here and I have my leg. I am thankful for that and my doctors," said Pace.    

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