The navy veteran started having flu-like symptoms, including aches and fever, on August 16, his wife, Jody Ireland, told Fox News last week.
She said five days later, when the symptoms got worse and her husband complained of extreme pain in his groin and leg, she rushed him to the emergency room.
“It was unexpected,” she told Fox News. “He was fine one minute and sick the next.”
After Ireland, a father of two girls ages seven and five, was admitted to the hospital, doctors had to remove over 25 percent of the skin from his body, and his kidneys failed, his wife said.
Jody said her husband was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection that could spread quickly in the body and could turn deadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms could include fever, dizziness, or nausea soon after an injury or surgery.
The bacteria most commonly enter the body through a break in the skin, according to the CDC.
Jody told Fox News doctors told her the bacteria entered her husband’s body through an open wound on his leg and “because he is diabetic, the bacteria turned into strep and started eating his flesh.”
On a GoFundMe page created by his brother to help with the unexpected medical costs, Daniel Ireland posted that his brother had died last Thursday.
“He fought very hard against this disease and all of us will miss him dearly,” the brother wrote. “Your prayers and financial support is greatly appreciated. He meant the world to all of us.”
Daniel said the money raised, over $15,000, also would help cover funeral costs.
David Ireland had worked at Universal Studios in Orlando.
“He loved his job as attractions trainer at Universal Orlando and always provided a calm peaceful fun atmosphere for his coworkers,” Ireland’s obit said.
He is survived by his parents, wife, children including two 25-year-olds, and a granddaughter.
David Ireland’s visitation service is scheduled for this coming Saturday morning at an Orlando church. The burian is set for Sept. 9.