A young woman went blind in one eye within 24 hours after catching a flesh-eating bacteria during a mud run in Dallas this month.
"My eye started hurting, like maybe I've got mud or some debris in there," Brittany Williams, who finished her first mud run two weeks ago, told CBS DFW. "When I opened my eye, it was just like white. The whole room was white."
Williams said the debris cut her eye, allowing flesh-eating bacteria to destroy her cornea. "It just completely melted off of my eye."
A mother with two jobs but no health insurance, Williams spent a week in the hospital. She now owes $100,000 in medical bills.
"I've had health insurance before and I never used it. I never went to the doctor and I just spent lots of money for nothing. So I didn't see the point at the time when we couldn't afford it," said Williams.
"You don't think you're going to go to the doctor and someone's gonna say you owe $3,000 for eye drops," said Williams, who compared her experience to a horror movie.
Flesh-eating bacteria (necrotizing fasciitis) is a bacterial skin infection that enters the body through a wound such as a cut, scrape or bite. Once the bacteria gets into the bloodstream, it spreads quickly and can destroy skin, fat and tissue around muscles. Such harmful effects can be caused by a number of bacteria including E.coli and Staphylococcus. It usually impacts people with a weakened immune system, although otherwise healthy individuals can develop infections, too.
Despite her painful ordeal, Williams has remained optimistic.
"Even though people go through horrible things, I make the best of it. Because there's no point in sitting and sulking, because it's just going to make the rest of my days miserable," she said.
There's a chance Williams could eventually regain her vision with surgery. However, she says several local doctors have denied her treatment since she lacks insurance.