When this 31-year-old family man helped Hurricane Harvey victims rebuild, he didn't know that his life was in danger. Josue contracted an infection from flesh-eating bacteria in the waters while helping others.
Josue Zurita was a devoted Christian and loving family man. Originally from Mexico, Josue came to the United States to help provide for his family. While here, he was eager to work and help those around him.
After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Josue quickly went to work to help the victims rebuild. As a carpenter, he used his skills to rebuild the homes lost during the storms.
"It's most likely [Josue's] infection occurred where bacteria from Harvey debris or floodwater entered his body through a wound or cut," Dr. Philip Keiser, Galveston County Local Health Authority, said in a news release.
Necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial infection that attacks the body. The bacteria infection kills surrounding tissue, fat, or nerve cells. This type of flesh-eating bacteria infection is rare. However, it's commonly found in post-hurricane waters.
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In Josue's case, the bacteria began eating away at his upper arm. He went to Jennie Sealy Hospital in Galveston on October 10 but it was too late. Sadly, he passed away less than a week later.
“It's unbelievable,” said Brenda Avalos, a family friend. “We still don't accept that he's not here.”
The obituary shared about Josue's life and deep love for his family. Josue's family and friends remember him as a "loyal friend and devoted Christian father".
"He remained to help with the rebuilding after hurricane Harvey that hit Harris and Galveston Counties," it reads. "While working the current rebuilding efforts he was struck with an illness that claimed his life. He will be remembered as a loyal friend and devoted Christian father who remained faithful to his Catholic Faith."
A GoFund Me account was set up for his funeral expenses.
The CDC urges anyone in hurricane-affected areas to remember to keep wound care of utmost importance. Wash hands and any exposed skin immediately with soap and warm water. Keep wounds clean and bandaged.
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