CALGARY — A crowdfunding effort is underway to help a Calgary man who contracted a flesh-eating bacteria infection in his leg while vacationing in southeast Asia.
CTV News reports a friend of Harvey Kell and Tony Ries set up a GoFundMe page after Kell fell ill on a flight the pair were taking home from Thailand.
An update on the crowdfunding site, relayed from Ries, says Kell noticed a bruise on his lower leg when they landed in Taiwan and then the leg began to swell.
It says Kell was later diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis and placed in an intensive care unit in Taiwan.
Because Kell and Ries were on their way home when the illness struck, the site says their travel medical insurance has run out and they're facing financial strain.
An update from Ries posted on Thursday says Kell is showing improvement in hospital.
"He is conscious now and I was able to communicate with him. I told him everyone is sending love and prayers for a hasty recovery and return home."
Kell's sister-in-law Lori Ries told CTV it does not look like they will have to amputate the leg, but skin grafts will likely be needed.
"It's heartwrenching to watch people you love go through this and you can't be with them," she told CTV from Eston, Sask.