‘Deadliest Catch’ boat’s former deck boss loses leg to flesh-eating bacteria

Life on the crab boat Wizard is often hard. Tuesday night’s episode of “Deadliest Catch” proved that yet again when crew member Chris Scambler had to be airlifted off the boat due to dehydration and shock. But as it turns out, life after the crab boat Wizard can be even harder.

Former deck boss Michael “Bear” Rogers, who worked the Wizard long before Capt. Keith Colburn bought the boat, contracted necrotizing fasciitis — flesh-eating bacteria — after leaving the high seas behind.

During an interview with KING 5 News, Rogers and his family revealed the high toll the disease took.

Years ago, leg pain was Roger’s first sign of a problem. Just three days after he went to a hospital, his kidneys began to fail — and that wasn’t the worst of it.

Medical staff warned that there was a chance he could lose one or even both of his legs at the hip due to the potentially deadly affliction.

“I told the nurse that I wanted to save my leg and that I would do anything that they needed me to do, just don’t cut it off,” Rogers recalled. But he’d been in and out of consciousness and soon learned his pleas were too late. “They had already cut it off!”

Rogers lost one leg below the knee, but likely gained years of life thanks to the surgery. His daughter explained that if he’d waited any longer to get help, “the odds are very high that he wouldn’t be alive.”

Despite losing the limb, the 59-year-old stressed, “I’m glad I’m alive.”

See how the current crew of the Wizard fairs on “Deadliest Catch” Tuesdays at 9 p.m ET on Discovery Channel.

Share your thoughts about Rogers’ struggle on our Facebook page.


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