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Crystal Spencer, Michigan Woman, Fights Flesh-Eating Bacteria Infection

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Crystal Spencer, 33, is fighting a deadly case of flesh-eating bacteria at Detroit Receiving Hospital (Photo via WXYZ).
Crystal Spencer, 33, is fighting a deadly case of flesh-eating bacteria at Detroit Receiving Hospital (Photo via WXYZ).

Doctors at Detroit Receiving Hospital are fighting to save the life of Crystal Spencer, 33, who is battling a rare -- and often deadly -- case of flesh-eating bacteria.

Surgeons in the Intensive Care Unit were forced to remove a watermelon-sized section of her torso that had been destroyed by the deadly Necrotizing fasciitis bacteria; an offshoot of Streptococcus that creates 10,000 to 15,000 new cases every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

While many cases are easily treatable, the bacteria's poisonous toxins can ravage the muscles, fat and organs of victims with weakened immune systems. In another recent case, doctors were forced to remove the left leg, right foot and hands of 24-year-old student Aimee Copeland, who contracted the bacteria during a fall into the river in Georgia's Appalachian Mountains.

Spencer, according to the Daily Mail, has only a 20-to-30 percent chance of surviving the infection, which doctors say is complicated by her Type 2 diabetes.

She was admitted to Detroit Receiving's ICU unit on June 30. Her husband, Jeff Spencer, told WXYZ that he believes she contracted the deadly infection at another (unnamed) Detroit-area hospital, where she recently had an abscess removed from her leg.

He also says the Spencers are contemplating legal action.

"They're saying it's a long road but I'm trying to think for the better that hopefully she does make it," Spencer told WXYZ. "She's alert but she's not to the point where she can talk or really do much."

"It's just hard at night to do this," he added. "I'm keeping my hopes up I'm praying and have family do what they can."

According to the Detroit Free Press, Spencer's aunt, Leanna Hornak is holding fundraisers through sales of Tupperware, Pampered Chef products and others. She says Spencer has health insurance insurance but they are not yet sure how much of her recovery will be covered.

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