AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– A Colorado family is hopeful their father will recover from flesh-eating bacteria.

Frank Graham was healthy until he fell ill last week. He called his daughter on Saturday to tell her he was feeling unusually sick.

Just two days later, doctors at University Hospital in Aurora amputated his arm to stop the spread of the disease.

Graham traveled to Aurora from Delta where he lived and worked as a painter.

Doctors say the bacteria can spread very quickly. They also said Graham did the right thing by seeking medical attention as soon as he knew something was not right.

“It can literally engulf you in hours. You can see it spread before your eyes and you need surgery right away,” said Dr. Gordon Lindberg. “The thing that makes this disease so terrible is the bacteria lodge themselves in a part of the body the antibiotics can’t work.”

Graham has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

“Once he is out of this part he will be up in ICU to a month and a half then we’ll start a small process to recovery,” said Graham’s daughter Tabitha Lightner.

Doctors have not pinpointed what caused the bacteria.

The staff at University Hospital agreed to treat Graham even though he has no medical insurance.


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