Young dad forgoes gloves while digging in garden – hours later, family’s worst nightmare comes true

Many people like to take care of their gardens as a hobby. Caring for plants and maintaining grass can be therapeutic for many people. Similarly, this young father enjoyed it a lot, too!

What he thought was just a cut would soon turn into the family’s worst nightmare. We want to warn you: this story contains some graphic images.

Steve Palmer would usually be seen by neighbors out in his garden taking care of his plants. It was not out of the ordinary to see the young father hunched over with his tools as he tended to the flora in his garden.

Anyone who owns a house or an apartment where plants need care knows it’s important to have the right equipment. A pair of gloves is a must for digging in the soil to work more easily and, more importantly, for hygiene.

The family was used to seeing Steve dig around and work in the garden. The garden had been damaged after a severe flood, and there was a lot that needed fixing.

His wife Laura and their sons Charlie, 7, and Jacob, 3, watched on at the usual scene of Steve working in the garden.

After the work was done, Steve had a scratch on his hand but dismissed it, saying it must have come from a plant, as reported in the Daily Mail.

The next morning, he woke up with a fever and couldn’t move his fingers. As the day went on, he felt worse and worse. His arm began to numb, and the pain eventually became unbearable.


“I can’t believe something like this could happen from gardening. I’ve never known pain like it, it was excruciating,” Steve said.

Steve began to panic, and the family called an ambulance.

‘By Sunday evening, the skin was rotting away – I’m lucky to be alive, the doctors told me the mortality rate was 75%,” says Steve.

“They had to tunnel the flesh from further up my arm and pull it down, just so I could have the skin graft over it,” he revealed.

He was rushed to the hospital and had a total of four operations performed on his arm. The infection that had spread had to be removed, and a skin graft from his thigh had to be done to save his disintegrating arm.

Steve was diagnosed with Necrotizing fasciitis, or as it is commonly known, flesh-eating disease.

When he had dug in the garden, he had come into contact with bacteria that “ate” into his skin, thus causing his arm to rot away. “‘My surgeon had only seen three other cases like mine, and he said that one in four die as the mortality is so high,” Steve shared.


Today, while he has no feeling left in his arm, doctors were still able to reconstruct it.

“But I’ve got no feeling in my right hand now, all the nerves are damaged,” the dad of two said.

“But now I know, it’s so important – always wear gardening gloves and clean out any scratch – no matter how small,” Steve shared.


Steve’s tip is something everyone who gardens should adhere to! Who knew such a tiny cut could lead to something so disastrous? Share this with others so they do not make the same mistake as Steve.

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