Connect with us


Texas Man Loses Both Arms, Part of His Leg After Flea Bite



Michael Kohlhof loses both arms after flea bite
Michael Kohlhof lost both his arms and part of his feet after a single flea bite. (Photo: GoFundme)

A Texas man has suffered a devastating ordeal due to a single flea bite, resulting in the loss of both his arms and part of his feet, according to his family.

Last month, Michael Kohlhof was urgently taken to a San Antonio emergency room when he lost sensation in his toes and exhibited severe flu-like symptoms, as recounted by his mother on a GoFundMe page.

Shortly after, the 35-year-old man went into septic shock, prompting his admission to the intensive care unit (ICU).

Within a mere 24 hours, Kohlhof required a ventilator, dialysis, antibiotics, vasopressors, and several IV medications to sustain his life as his organs began to fail rapidly.

His mother, J’Leene Hardaway, shared that by the end of June 20, the situation became dire, and immediate family members were called upon to bid their farewells, fearing the worst.

Kohlhof’s brother Greg revealed that his sibling narrowly escaped death on one or two occasions, with concerns about possible brain damage.

Remarkably, Kohlhof persevered with the help of intense medical intervention for another 11 days, until he was eventually weaned off the ventilator and sedation on July 1. However, this survival came at a great physical cost.

As a result of the vasopressor treatment that played a crucial role in saving his life, Kohlhof’s hands and feet developed dry gangrene.

The root cause of his sepsis and rapid deterioration was traced back to typhus, which originated from a lone flea bite.

“It was a severe and traumatic bite from just one flea that victimized him,” Hardaway told local station KENS-5.

Doctors informed the family that the type of typhus Kohlhof contracted is exceptionally rare in the US.

Flea-borne typhus is generally found in tropical and subtropical climates worldwide, including certain areas of the United States like southern California, Hawaii, and Texas, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC warns that untreated typhus can lead to severe illness and organ damage, affecting the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain.

Typically, those bitten by infected fleas seek medical attention upon observing swelling or a rash around the bite area. However, Kohlhof did not experience any symptoms until it was too late.

Due to the advanced stage of gangrene, doctors had no choice but to amputate both his hands up to his forearms and half of his feet earlier this week.

Kohlhof’s partner, Alishpa Masood, mentioned that if they had waited just 48 more hours, he might not have survived.

Originally from Houston, Kohlhof was in San Antonio to assist his mother during her recovery from foot surgery.

He is described as a volunteer, a handyman, an art enthusiast, and a part-time pet sitter, all of which heavily relied on his hands, making the loss even more tragic.

His brother, Greg, offered words of encouragement, emphasizing that despite the physical challenges, Kohlhof’s mind is his greatest asset, and he will find new ways to express himself.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Shop Smart