"Flesh eating bacteria," known as necrotizing fasciitis, received national attention a few months ago after a Georgia woman contracted the bacteria and lost both her hands, one leg and one foot.
The disease is rare but is a serious infection that starts in the tissues just below the skin and spreads along the flat layers of tissue. It's fatal in nearly 40 percent of cases.
In July 2011, 50-year-old Chris Harmon was working as a car salesman when he developed a blister on the bottom of his foot.
The Brighton man didn't think anything of it at first, until after a few days it became painful.
"My foot was changing colors and it was really swollen," Harmon said. "I knew something was wrong, so we went to Denver Health Emergency. They kept giving me pain killers because I couldn't get rid of the pain."
Doctors couldn't figure out what was going on so they took him in for surgery and immediately knew what was wrong.
"The nurse said you have necrotizing fasciitis. I said 'OK, what's that?' She then told me it's a flesh eating bacteria," Harmon said. "[So] I went back in. It was a 13 hour surgery. They cut all the toes off."
Harmon left the hospital and started rehabilitation.
Three months later Harmon started feeling sick.
"I went back for my regular doctor appointment and I told her I wasn't feeling well and my foot was hurting really bad," Harmon said. "She didn't hesitate to send me off to emergency surgery and when I woke up my leg was gone."
Harmon said he knew life was going to be difficult.
"There's two ways you can go about this," Harmon said. "You can lay down and cry about it and quit living your life or you can say 'the heck with it' and stand up and deal with it."
And that's exactly what he did. He is starting a non-profit called "Limbs from the Heart."
Harmon's prosthetic is the least expensive type and it still cost him $10,000.
That's where "Limbs from the Heart" comes in.
Harmon wants to make sure that every amputee can get access to a prosthetic, no matter what their insurance or financial situation.
"I want to give back," Harmon said. "I don't just want to help someone. I want to make a difference."
Harmon's foundation is just getting off the ground.
If you would like to learn more or would like to help out email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for more information on the rare bacteria.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)