ORANGE COUNTY, TEXAS (NBC) - An Orange County Justice of the Peace has been hospitalized after contracting a flesh-killing bacteria at the beach.
Judge Derry Dunn was exposed to the bacteria while at Crystal Beach for a family reunion about a week and a half ago.
Dunn calls his right leg his tractor riding leg but the orange county JP came close to losing it forever.
"Just sitting there thinking about 'Wow, i'm about to lose a leg maybe.'", said Judge Derry Dunn. "That's hard to wrap your mind around some of that stuff."
The story begins during an annual family reunion at Crystal Beach. Dunn stepped into the water for only a few minutes to help a grandson.
Days later, Judge Dunn says he started suffering flu like symptoms. He waived them off, but late on a Saturday night his wife noticed his leg looked inflamed.
He was advised to go to the hospital and after telling doctors he recently returned from a beach vacation, he says doctors told him vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium that causes a flesh killing illness, had likely entered a cut on his leg. They prepped him for surgery.
A surgeon cut into his leg until they could find normal, healthy flesh.
Dunn suspects an open mosquito bite on his leg left him vulnerable to contracting the bacteria when he entered the water.
He says it will take time before he ever steps foot into beach water again.
In addition to serving as Justice of the Peace, Judge Dunn is also a Municipal Judge for the city of Pinehurst.
He is expected to make a full recovery but doctors are monitoring the judge every day to make sure surgery removed all of the bacteria.