By: DOUG MILLER
A fisherman, who suffered a seemingly minor scrape during a Sunday outing on Lake Conroe, has died from an infection of flesh-eating bacteria.
Travis Lee Moore, a 74-year-old retired postal worker and former Beaumont firefighter from the Southeast Texas town of Chester, succumbed only five days after a fishing trip with four of his brothers.
“It was a scrape on the top of his left hand, on his finger,” said his brother, Robert Moore of Woodville.
The infection’s severity didn’t become apparent until two days after the trip, when his family thought Moore was suffering a heart attack. His brother, Robert, took him to a hospital in Huntsville where the problem was diagnosed as a flesh eating bacteria.
As friends spread the word of prayer chains through social media, Moore was transferred to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston by Life Flight helicopter. He died last Friday following the prior weekend fishing trip.
An autopsy conducted by Harris County forensic specialists later confirmed the cause of death, but his brother isn’t convinced the infection happened during the family fishing trip. He says an emergency room doctor told him there’s no telling what caused it.
“I don’t think it was the fish,” Robert Moore said. “Now, that’s my opinion.”
Rumors of the incident have been spreading around the Lake Conroe fishing community. Fishermen, who spend much of their time on the freshwater late, expressed surprise, saying they generally associate flesh-eating bacteria with salt water.
“Anytime you’re with rusty hooks, water, fish, anything can happen,” said Lonnie Gaspard, a tour guide who takes fisherman onto the lake. “Bacteria, the sky’s the limit.”
Some of them say Moore’s death will lead them to take more precautions.
“It scares me, you know, because of the fact of me being out on the water virtually every day, handling fish and getting nicked, whatever,” said Billy Mills, a longtime tour boat operator. “I’m going to be more cautious, that’s for sure.”