Perez-Dilan says on July 2 her father was crabbing at his favorite spot near Matt's Landing on the river. The Millville resident's troubles began with severe pain and swelling in his right leg, and quickly grew to include swelling and blisters all over his body, as well as red, raw skin.
"The choice is life or limbs and I've heard that multiple times", said Dilena Perez-Dilan, after her 60-year-old father, Angel Perez, contracted the disease while crabbing last week off the Maurice River in Commercial Township. It's in a group commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria.
"It was swelling so much, it looked like a prosthetic", Perez-Dilan said. If he doesn't, they may have to amputate at least three of his limbs.
The National Institutes of Health says that while Vibrio bacteria "is one of the more infrequent causes of necrotizing fasciitis", it has a 26 percent mortality rate because it rapidly spreads and it is hard to diagnose.
'He is in critical condition, ' Perez-Dilan told the website. "You can see it spreading from his feet all the way above his kneecap". His forearms are black in color, they have blisters, cuts and sores'.
"He's been praising God nonstop", Perez-Dilan said.
Doctors have put Perez on antibiotics and are waiting to see if responds.
She said her father's swelling was so severe, his limbs didn't look real.
As for Perez, his daughter says he and his family are relying on their faith to guide them through the situation. Brackish water is a salty combination of fresh and seawater often found in places like the Chesapeake Bay where the ocean's salt water mixes with fresh water. He's just happy to have a second chance, ' she said.
Perez's family now wants to warn others.
The bacteria is usually only a concern when you eat raw shellfish, but Perez says his immunity was already compromised because of Parkinson's disease.
But the New Jersey health department says if anyone has open cuts or scrapes, it's best to stay out of brackish water, according to WPVI.