Former marathon director John Conley recovering from flesh-eating bacteria in Hawaii

John Conley is recovering from necrotizing fasciitis at a hospital in Hilo, Hawaii. Family photo

John Conley is recovering from necrotizing fasciitis at a hospital in Hilo, Hawaii. Family photo

Long-time race director John Conley is fighting a case of necrotizing fasciitis at a Hawaii hospital.

Conley, who spent 19 years as race director of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon and 20 years working with the 3M Half Marathon, was vacationing on the Big Island of Hawaii when he came down with the rare bacterial infection, also known as flesh-eating bacteria.

“For a guy whose leg looks like a shark attack, I’m really doing pretty well,” Conley said by phone Tuesday from Hilo Regional Medical Center in Hawaii, where he was recuperating after two surgeries to remove affected tissue.

Conley hopes to head back to Austin later this month. He'll need skin graft surgery. Family photo

Conley hopes to head back to Austin later this month. He’ll need skin graft surgery. Family photo

 

Doctors told him Tuesday that he may be discharged from the Hilo hospital by mid-August. He plans to return to Austin, where he’ll need skin grafts to cover wounds on his left leg.

Necrotizing fasciitis, a serious bacterial skin infection, spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2010, approximately 700 to 1,100 cases of necrotizing fasciitis caused by group A strep have occured each year in the United States, according to the agency.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s print and online editions of the Austin American-Statesman.


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