HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) – A beloved daycare teacher in Houston remains in the hospital after doctors amputated his foot due to a flesh-eating disease.
Raul Reyes, 26, is in good spirits despite the amputation of his right foot on Feb. 23. His wife said she can’t believe he was so close to death.
"I think about it every day – every day he’s been here – I think about how I could have lost him," said Joseline Alfaro, Reyes’ wife.
Concerned about what he thought was a blister last week, the 26-year-old went to a clinic where he learned he had contracted a flesh-eating disease.
Before it could spread to his bloodstream, doctors amputated his foot.
Doctors believe the bacteria entered through an open wound from an ingrown toenail, but they don't know where he got it. Common places for infection are salt and brackish water.
"We were like, ‘No, he's perfectly healthy. We haven’t gone to the beach in a year.’ So, it's just weird how all of this happened," Alfaro said.
The west Houston daycare teacher doesn’t have insurance, but his family wants him to have a prosthetic foot. His sister-in-law set up a GoFundMe account to raise money.
Using a walker and undergoing other therapies are part of his daily routine now. Alfaro said Reyes’ 3-year-old students are helping him get through.
“Sometimes I send him videos of the kids saying ‘hi’ to him and it just raises his spirits, and he wants to go back to work already and be with the kids,” Alfaro said.
TM & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.