Moultrie Observer

Local News

June 18, 2013

Local man fights deadly bacteria

Hobgood lost arm 4 hours after infection

MOULTRIE — A Colquitt County woman is lamenting her return to her hometown, a move that she said cost her son his arm.

Donna and Michael Hobgood both grew up in Moultrie, but they moved to Florida 25 years ago. They recently moved back to be closer to their families.

Now their 23-year-old son, Michael Hobgood II, is hospitalized in “fair/stable condition,” according to a Colquitt Regional spokeswoman. His right arm has been amputated at the elbow to stop the progression of necrotizing fasciitis — commonly called the flesh-eating bacteria.

While Michael remains hospitalized, Donna Hobgood has asked people to respect the family’s privacy. She strongly discouraged visitors or phone calls.

Donna Hobgood said her son was shooting guns with some friends June 7 at a pond in Hartsfield. Somehow, the lever on the gun cut his hand when the gun recoiled. It wasn’t a serious injury at all — “just a little tear, like,” she said.

That evening, the hand had swollen enough he went to the emergency room. Donna Hobgood said the physiician said Michael had torn the ligaments in his hand, which caused the swelling. He was fitted with a splint or brace and sent home.

A few hours later, Michael was back at the emergency room because the swelling had gotten much worse and had progressed up his arm. The necrotizing fasciitis was diagnosed at that time and the arm was amputated to prevent further spread.

“In four hours it was all the way up to here,” she said, pointing to her elbow. “What if he had slept through the night? He’d have died.”

Necrotizing fasciitis is caused by several kinds of bacteria, according to WebMD. Some of these bacteria also cause infections such as strep throat and impetigo. Usually the infections caused by these bacteria are mild, but in rare cases they can cause a more dangerous infection.

About 1 in 4 people who get necrotizing fasciitis die, the website said.

The CRMC spokeswoman said hospital officials do not believe this is the first incident of necrotizing fasciitis the hospital has treated — but it is so rare none of them can remember seeing it before.

The infection gained notoriety last year when Snellville, Ga., student Aimee Copeland lost both hands, her leg and her right foot to it. Her fight for life was covered by national news media.

Michael Hobgood II was about to start a new job as a sheet metal mechanic when the accident occurred, his mother said. He had done similar work for years in Florida, installing ducts in buildings.

“He was running his own crew by the time he was 21,” she said.

Now, he’s without income or health insurance, and the family is seeking help from the community. An account has been set up at Southwest Georgia Bank in his name, and the family has placed collection jars in businesses around the area.

Text Only
Local News
Business Marquee
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content

Should the U.S. negotiate with groups it considers terrorists?

No. Never.
Generally no, but prisoner exchanges are an exception.
Negotiation will be required to end the conflicts we have with those groups.
     View Results