Man Fights Rare Flesh-Eating Disease

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FREEPORT (WIFR) -- Tommy Shenberger had no idea what was wrong with his leg.

It was swollen and he was feeling sick so his girlfriend brought him to FHN Memorial Hospital where they received the unexpected diagnosis: necrotizing fasciitis.

Shenberger was then rushed to a Madison hospital where he would undergo five surgeries and skin grafting to repair his left leg.

While recovering, the 39-year-old also suffered nerve and muscle damage in his right foot, but through a month filled with pain and operations, Shenberger says he was able to survive because of one thing.

"I'm just glad to be alive for my kids," he said.. "That's the main thing. The kids and my sister, my family, and Autumn, they've all done everything for me. They didn't give up on me so I can't give up on them. I owe them everything, my life. I'm just lucky to be here."

Shenberger still has plenty of physical therapy and exercise to go through and he says although there's no guarantee that his leg or foot will fully recover, he's feeling good and pushing through therapy.

Shenberger and his family are hosted a benefit Saturday night at the Freeport Moose Lodge where all of the money is going towards medical expenses.

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