"He just wants to get better and get out of the hospital. I told him that he's got to make it through because he's got a lot of grandkids to take care of and that's all he wants. He wants to be with his family." A SON TALKS ABOUT HIS FATHER, 67 YEAR OLD PAUL BALES WHO'S FIGHTING FLESH EATING BACTERIA.
MIKE BALES TALKED TO US AT HIS FATHER'S LAKE FRONT HOME ABOUT THE INFECTION THAT'S KEPT HIM IN THE HOSPITAL FOR SEVERAL WEEKS.
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US....I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT...
A MILLEDGEVILLE MAN WHO LOST PART OF HIS LEFT LEG TO FLESH-EATING BACTERIA IS ANXIOUS TO GO HOME.
BUT FIRST....DOCTORS MAY HAVE TO REMOVE EVEN MORE.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO PAUL BALES' SON... MIKE BALES.
HE SAYS DOCTORS HAD TO REMOVE HIS FATHER'S LEFT LEG BELOW THE KNEE.
IN THE FIRST PART OF TONIGHT'S TEAM COVERAGE... AUSTIN LEWIS SPOKE WITH MIKE... ABOUT HIS FATHER'S CONDITION.
MIKE BALES SAYS WHEN HE LOOKS OUT HERE...HE'S REMINDED HOW MUCH HIS FATHER LOVES IT.
Mike Bales, Dacula: the lake golf and family, that's a good retirement if you ask me
PAUL BALES WAS FINISHING UP WORK ON THIS SHED...WHEN HE SLIPPED ON THE BOAT RAMP.
Mike Bales, Dacula: I guess he cut just a little bit, enough to put a bandage on it and he played golf for the next couple of days after that, so around Friday he couldn't finish his round of golf and pain in the lower leg.
OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS...PAUL BALES WENT TO TWO HOSPITALS BEFORE DOCTORS KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON.
Mike Bales, Dacula: They didn't focus in on the leg at that time because his vitals were all out of whack I guess that's from the infection, so Wednesday when he was transferred to Macon, that following Sunday he was diagnosed having the flesh eating bacteria.
BALES SAYS DOCTORS WEDNESDAY NIGHT REMOVED PART OF HIS FATHER'S LEFT LEG...JUST BELOW THE KNEE.
Mike Bales, Dacula: he's on a lot of medication so he's in and out, he's able to talk to us, he knew, he knows what's going on, um and he know's he's got to have another surgery this weekend to remove even more of his leg because the infection is higher than he thought it was going to be so the amputation, I guess, is a couple of stages
HE SAYS ALL HIS DAD THINKS ABOUT IS BEATING THE BACTERIA.
Mike Bales, Dacula: He just wants to get better, he wants to get out of the hospital I told him that he's got to make it through cause he's got a lot of grand kids to take care of and that's all he wants.
BALES SAYS HE BRINGS HIS I-PAD TO THE HOSPITAL.
Mike Bales, Dacula: I'll bring my iPad to the hospital and I'll show pictures of all his family and you know I always rub a wet washcloth over his head, or I'll shave him things like that just to give him some normalcy back.
WHILE MICHAEL BALES HAS NOT BEEN IN THE WATER SINCE THE ACCIDENT... HE SAYS HE DOESN'T WANT THE LAKE TO GET A BAD REP.
Mike Bales, Dacula: I think that bacteria is everywhere, you know and we don't know what's causing it, maybe that's why we're talking on camera now is for awareness and hopefully we'll get this thing under control.
HE DOES WANT PEOPLE TO BE MORE SAFE.
Mike Bales, Dacula: If you do get cut take care of it immediately, if you experience any kind of pain especially go see your doctor I think that's what I've learned from it anyway.
RIGHT NOW...BALES SAYS HE AND HIS FAMILY ARE JUST WAITING FOR PAUL TO RETURN HOME TO THE PLACE HE LOVES.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
BALES' HOME IS BESIDE A CREEK OFF LAKE SINCLAIR
CONTINUING OUR TEAM COVERAGE... CANDACE ADORKA CAUGHT UP WITH SOME PEOPLE AT THE LAKE... TO SEE IF THE CASE WILL KEEP THEM AWAY FROM THE WATER.
***Catfish... we've got catfish in here***
CHARLES ALLEN SAYS HIS CATCH FROM LAKE SINCLAIR WASN'T GREAT.
"Yeah we usually do a little better, especially when it's cooler."
HIS FISHING BUDDY JUNIOR SCARBORO SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY CAME TO WORK ON THEIR BOAT.
"We were real careful not to get cut or anything..."
HE SAYS THEY ARE ON ALERT AFTER HEARING ABOUT SEVERAL CASES OF FLESH-EATNG BACTERIA AROUND THE STATE.
"That's the first I heard of it was when that little girl was on that zipline and fell in the river. I know in Dublin several years ago we had a young boy who was in the river, and he sucked something down his nose and died, but I'd forgot about that, and this is the first i'd ever heard of that."
ALLEN SAID NECROTIZING FACIITIS WON'T KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE LAKE... UNLESS HE'S BLEEDING.
"Other than that, if you're careful, and we're not swimming in the water, we're just fishing, i think it's fine."
"i don't know how anybody could get anything in the water..."
IRMA BALLARD SAID SHE DOESN'T KNOW HOW THE DISEASE WORKS... BUT SHE'S NOT DIVING IN ANY TIME SOON.
"We wanted to have a good time and play in the water, and now it's kind of scary that you can't even go in the water now because you don't even know what you're going to get into."
Scarboro "It's real scary"
SCARBORO SAYS HE WOULDN'T IGNORE THE DISEASE... BUT HE ALSO WOULDN'T LET IT GET IN THE WAY OF ANY MEMORIAL DAY PLANS ON THE LAKE.
"It makes you be more careful, and pray for the folks, the little girl and this man, I pray for them every day."
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> ALLEN... BALLARD... AND OTHERS AT THE LAKE RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BACTERIA.
OTHERS... HAVE VOICED THEIR CONCERNS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
SUSAN WROTE... "I WILL REFRAIN FROM GETTING IN ANY WATER EXCEPT THE SHOWER OR A CHLORINATED POOL! TOO RISKY!"
JUSTINE COMMENTED... "I WOULDN'T RISK IT. MY FIRST THOUGHT WHEN I HEARD ABOUT THE CASES IN GEORGIA WAS A PLAGUE/EPIDEMIC.
BUT KRISTINA SAYS SHE'S NOT WORRIED... "WELL I APPRECIATE EVERYBODY STAYING HOME SO THERE'S MORE ROOM FOR US ON THE LAKE! HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND Y'ALL!"
JENNIFER MOULLIET POSED SOME OF THE CONCERNS TO A MAN WHO'S WRITTEN...TALKED...AND TAUGHT ABOUT DISEASES LIKE THIS ONE.
SHE SPOKE WITH DOCTOR WILLIAM (SHAFF-NER)SCHAFFNER... PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND PROFESSOR AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY... BY PHONE
Jennifer Moulliet: "We've had several cases here in Georgia and one most recently in Milledgeville and a lot of people I think it's on their minds when they go to the Rivers and Lakes here Memorial Day weekend what should they be aware of?"
Dr.William Schaffner: "Well fortunately this is rare and it should not interfere with everyone having a wonderful Memorial Day holiday what they should realize is, if they sustain an injury they should get it attended to very, very promplty that's the main thing that is important."
Jennifer Moulliet: "Now should they go in the water if they have any kind of cut because I believe the man in Milledgeville had a cut that a band aid could cover up."
Dr. William Schaffner: "That is a very, very unusual event and lots of us have gone swimming with little scrapes so fortunately this is a very, very rare infection. Make sure that when you come out you wipe yourself off, take a shower, clean any cuts that you have."
Jennifer Moulliet:" And one more question how do we prevent this?"
Dr.William Schaffner: "The best way to prevent it of course is to not get injured, but if you do get injured make sure that it is taken care of right away."
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WILL NEWS ABOUT FLESH-EATING BACTERIA KEEP YOU AWAY FROM LAKES AND RIVERS?
SO FAR 69 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... IT WILL.
AND 31 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
JULY FIRST...BIBB COUNTY WILL OFFICIALLY OWN MACON ANIMAL CONTROL.
IT'S ALL PART OF A LARGER PLAN BECAUSE A NEW SHELTER IS IN THE WORKS.
A NEW SHELTER WILL BE BUILT WITHIN TWO YEARS...BUT IT'S STILL IN THE PLANNING STAGES.
THIS SHELTER IS NEXT TO THE CITY LANDFILL ....THE SOURCE OF MANY PROBLEMS...INCLUDING ITS CURRENT VERMIN INFESTATION.
25 when i was there thye were running under foot so maybe they got bolder in the takerover of the place but hopefully their takeover will be short lived and we'll be able to get them out.39
MAC IS ALSO LOOKING FOR A NEW DIRECTOR.
JUNE 7TH IS THE DEADLINE TO GET THE ANIMALS ADOPTED. THERE ARE STILL 54 DOGS AND 4 CATS LOOKING FOR A HOME.
YOU CAN HELP... BY VISITING THE MACON ANIMAL CONTROL SHELTER ON WEEKDAYS BETWEEN 8 A-M AND 4-30 P-M.
BRING YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE AND A 75-DOLLAR ADOPTION FEE... IN CASH.
THE FEE ALSO INCLUDES SPAY AND NEUTER... AND RABIES SHOTS.
QUALIFYING CONTINUED TODAY IN BIBB COUNTY.. WHERE SEVERAL FAMILIAR FACES FILLED OUT THEIR FORMS.. ALONG WITH SOME NEW ONES.
ERICA WOODFORD IS A DEMOCRAT SEEKING THE BIBB SUPERIOR COURT CLERK POSITION.. SHE HOPES TO REPLACE DIANNE BRANNEN WHO IS LEAVING THECLERK'S POSITION.
DEMOCRAT ERICA EATON WOULD LIKE TO SERVE DISTRICT THREE ON THE SCHOOL BOARD.. A POSITION CURRENTLY HELD BY DEMOCRAT SUSAN SIPE..
REPUBLICAN CHALLENGER ANGELA FREEMAN QUALFIED FOR THE SEAT YESTERDAY..
90 YEAR OLD JAVORS LUCAS.. WHO SO FAR HAS NO OPPOSITION.. WOULD LIKE SIX MORE YEARS ON THE MACON WATER AUTHORITY..
CURRENT BIBB COMMISSION CHAIRMAN..... DEMOCRAT SAM HART... WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HIS SEAT AS WELL. REPUBLICAN BUSINESSMAN TOM WAGNER IS CHALLENGING HART.
Sam Hart, Bibb Commission Chairman: "We've done a heck of a lot of things the last four years, a lot of things are still on the table that need to be implemented ."
ALSO.. DEMOCRAT DAVID LUCAS IS LOOKING TO MAKE A RETURN TO THE STATE CAPITOL..
HE QUALIFIED FOR STATE SENATE DISTRICT 26.. CURRENTLY HELD BY MIRIAM PARIS.
LUCAS IS ALREADY FIRING UP FOR THE CAMPAIGN SEASON..
David Lucas, Former State Representative: "Well, she doesn't have a record. The only record she has is to do whatever Allen Peake tells her to do ."
WE COULD NOT REACH PARIS FOR COMMENT. QUALIFYING OFFICIALLY CLOSES AT NOON TOMORROW.
30 YEARS AGO... IN MAY OF 1982.... MAYBE YOU REMEMBER THESE HISTORIC EVENTS.
PRESIDENT REAGAN BEGAN HIS FIVE MINUTE WEEKLY RADIO BROADCASTS... THE PENTAGON PLANNED ITS FIRST STRATEGY FOR NUCLEAR WAR... AND POPE JOHN PAUL THE SECOND BECAME THE FIRST POPE TO VISIT GREAT BRITIAN.
ON THIS VERY DAY THAT YEAR... THE ATLANTA BRAVES GLENN HUBBARD ALSO HIT A HOMERUN IN A LOSING EFFORT AGAINST THE METS.
IT'S LIKELY OUR OWN FRANK MALLOY... RESIDENT SPORTS GURUREMEMBERS THAT... BECAUSE ITS ALSO THE DAY HE STEPPED-UP TO THE PLATE FOR HIS FIRST DAY AT 13-WMAZ... AS A SPORTS BROADCASTER.
THIRTY YEARS LATER... HERE'S STILL HERE... HITTING HOMERUNS FOR US... AND ALL OF CENTRAL EACH AND EVERY DAY.