BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A Baton Rouge man is making progress in his battle against a bacterial infection he may have contracted in the water in Bay St. Louis. According to family updates, Dick Empson's condition is improving since doctors amputated his right leg last week just hours after he became ill on the final day of a family vacation in the Bay.
According to a Monday morning post on by his daughter, Empson "was already sitting up eating some breakfast. He ate some yogurt, a few bites of grits, apple juice, milk, and ice chunks. Daddy was nauseated all day yesterday due to the medication he was given. His stomach seemed more calm this morning… There was talk about moving daddy out of the ICU, but we are in no rush. Thank you all for the great support and the many prayers all around the world. Could not have gotten this far with his progression without the prayers flooding Heaven."
Though authorities have not confirmed it, Empson's family believes he contracted Vibrio, or a similar bacterium, while wading to fish in the water. Vibrio is present in the Gulf waters all the time, but as the water gets warmer, the bacteria is more active and plentiful. The Mississippi State Department of Health tracks confirmed cases of Vibrio, but as of Friday afternoon, MSDH officials say there are no confirmed cases in the state this year.
Empson's family is posting regular updates on his condition on the fundraising site YouCaring.com.