A Florida man said he was happy to be alive after a small bite from a fishing hook had led to a life-threatening, carnivorous bacterial infection.

Fisherman Mike Walton caught his hand in a fishing hook in the Gulf of Mexico days ago and did not think much about it, he told the Tampa Bay WFTS. It's an injury he said he had caught fishing hundreds of times.

But his hand swelled – with big black bubbles. Usual antibiotics did not work. So Walton drove himself to an emergency room where the doctors told him he needed surgery or he could lose his arm or worse.

"You said in a few hours, that would have hit my chest and I would not have been here. There was no rescue for me, "Walton said to FOX 1

3 of Florida.

The doctors considered amputation of his arm but were able to remove the bacteria from the skin tissue between his elbow and palm, he said. [194559003] More: Woman dies of brain-eating amoeba after using a neti pot of filtered tap water

"I was really lucky," he told WFTS.

The carnivorous infection, necrotizing fasciitis, is rare and deadly. Bacteria that cause it can penetrate the body through small skin fractures and spread rapidly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Walton Working in the construction industry, said this injury does not prevent him from fishing in the future.

"I want to leave immediately," he said. "It will not slow me down, it's one thing I enjoy."

The doctors told Walton that the infection was restrained, he said, but he'll likely need to take another month of antibiotics and need extra weeks to heal.

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @ AshleyMayTweets

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