Vancouver firefighter loses leg to flesh-eating infection while on vacation

Click to play video: 'Vancouver firefighter ready to return home after recovering from flesh-eating disease'
Vancouver firefighter ready to return home after recovering from flesh-eating disease
For the first time since undergoing life-altering surgeries, a Vancouver man is speaking publicly about his terrifying health scare overseas. Christopher Won contracted necrotizing fasciitis while on family vacation in Asia earlier this month. Jason Pires reports – Feb 27, 2024

An assistant fire chief with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services is recovering in a Hong Kong hospital after contracting an infection commonly known as flesh-eating disease, forcing the amputation of part of his leg during a family vacation.

A statement from Vancouver Fire Chief Karen Fry says the department is grateful for the outpouring of support for Christopher Won, who she describes as “one of the strongest, most resilient and committed people we know.”

Won’s partner, Marie Hui, shared a photo of Won sitting up in a hospital bed with a bouquet of flowers sent by Mayor Ken Sim and city councillors.

Click to play video: 'BC man fundraising for stem cell therapy'
BC man fundraising for stem cell therapy

Hui wrote in her post that Won “almost didn’t make it out of that operating theatre alive” during a series of surgeries to amputate one of his legs above the knee.

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She says the doctors “fought so hard” to save him from necrotizing fasciitis, and the family was waiting for Won to be cleared to fly before returning home.

In a post four days ago, Hui says a joyful vacation turned into a situation that left Won hospitalized and their family in limbo, unable to fly back to Vancouver.

Hui also shared a message from Won, saying the outpouring of support has been “overwhelming” and he “can’t wait to come home” to thank everyone in person.

A fundraising page set up by a friend of the family says Won’s career with the city has spanned more than 20 years, while Hui is “beloved” as an anthem singer for teams including the Vancouver Canucks, BC Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps.

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