A 60-year-old man contracted a flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in the Maurice River last week, and now he could have his limbs amputated to stop the infection.
Perez-Dilan told KYW that the "choice is life or limbs, and I've heard that multiple times".
VNF is referred to as a flesh-eating bacteria because the infection results in tissue damage and death.
Perez first noticed a rash on his leg, which quickly blistered and spread. Vibrio usually infects a person who eats raw or undercooked shellfish but can also sicken a person who has an open wound in salt water.
Despite Perez's grim prognosis, Perez-Dilan told New Jersey Advance Media that her father has "been praising God non-stop". She said doctors are waiting to see if he responds to antibiotics before considering amputation. Perez can still breath on his own and communicate with his family.
Perez's daughter, Dilena Perez-Dilan, said that her father's leg turned "practically [a] brown, blackish color" before his condition deteriorated further, according to WPVI.
"Typically when you get an infection like this, it enters through an existing wound and can spread throughout the blood stream and then cause other complications such as necrotizing fasciitis, which he unfortunately got", says Megan Sheppard, with the Cumberland County Department of Health.
State and county officials have acknowledged that Vibrio bacteria "is not uncommon for the waters" but can not do much aside from advising people to stay out of brackish water, according to NJ Advance Media. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that these bacteria cause about 205 infections per year nationwide. Severe illnesses like Perez's are rare, but they are more likely among people with fragile immune systems. They do say that Mr. Perez is in good spirits. If they don't, Perez - who also has Parkinson's disease - might have at least three of his limbs amputated. "He's just happy to have a second chance". "Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous".