PORTLAND – A local family got a double dose of a potentially deadly infection this summer. Now they are trying to recover and make ends meet.
Justin and Jennifer Altig-Atwood are both healing from Necrotizing Fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it strikes less than 1,000 Americans each year. And what's even more unusual: The couple said their cases of the potentially transmittable infection are not believed to be connected.
"You don't expect your husband to be down with something like this and then a month later you end up getting sick with something similar. At first initially I thought it was a bug bite," said Jennifer.
Justin and Jennifer were both treated at OHSU Medical; Justin in July and Jennifer in August. He spent five days in the hospital and required surgery to his leg, Jennifer spent 16 days and needed five surgeries so far.
Both are glad to be alive, but the recovery has been tough.
"Chaos, absolute 100-percent chaos," said 35- year-old Justin. "I mean, we were hoping to get our feet back underneath ourselves… and now we need some help."
The couple has an 8-year-old daughter. The family is currently living with Justin's parents. He cannot work because he is caring for Jennifer full-time. The family has Oregon Health Plan coverage, but day-to-day expenses are adding up.
If you can help the family financially, a GoFundMe page has been created to donate online.