Keith Clarke enjoying a family vacation at Discovery Cove Water Park in Orlando, Florida in 2009. While swimming in a pool with tropical fish, he caught his big toe on a coral. Clarke was due to fly back to Manchester three days after injuring himself. When he arrived at the airport, he suddenly felt sick and collapsed, the Daily Star reported.
He was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with septic shock and related organ failure. His wife told reporters that she noticed how “his shoulder turned black and purple spots broke out on his back”.
Clarke first spent several days in intensive care. However, he was soon airlifted back to Great Britain. At Wythenshawe Hospital, doctors had to amputate both of his legs below the knee. Eight weeks after the finger injury, he died of multiple organ failure.
Clarke was diagnosed with haemophilia – a blood clotting disorder – at the age of two, according to an inquest held in Manchester. Coroner Nigel Meadows told the widow that her husband “he was basically unlucky”.
Several factors are responsible for the infection. Apart from the coral itself and the presence of tropical fish in the water, Briton’s genetic predisposition played the biggest role. “Anyone can catch group B streptococcal septicemia. Some people may be more susceptible to it than others.” Meadows concluded the unfortunate case.