Twenty-three-year-old Adam Spencer of Oregon was happily travelling through South America with his new fiancé, Shalynn Pack, when a scab appeared on his face. What Spencer didn't realize was that this scab wasn't a normal wound, but instead a horrifying flesh-eating parasite.
The scab, which started off small, soon began to spread over his face and start to puss. Seeking antibiotics from a local doctor while in South America, the growing wound continued to become a monster of its own. According to Fox, when Spencer returned to Oregon he went to Dr. Stephan Ames of Thurston Medical Clinic in Springfield to seek help for his disfigured face.
Originally believing the wound to be from a staph infection, Ames described penicillin. Adam came in with a wound of the right side of his face, said Ames to Discover Channel. It was firm, but soft and mushy on the inside. I was concerned it was a staph infection, which can infect multiple organs and cause him to die.
Hoping to put an end to his horrifying ordeal, Spencer and his doctor were shocked to find that tests showed no sign of a staph infection.
With no help from the penicillin, Spencer's wound grew to about 2 inches, getting closer to his eye. Things took a frightening turn for Spencer and his girlfriend when one day he couldn't swallow. Pack looked into Spencer's mouth to find that the back of his throat was malformed with large white lumps.
It was terrifying, Pack said to the Daily Mail. I was scared it could affect his voice. It was terrifying to think, 'I'm just watching him die.'
With the growing scab getting more frightening, Spencer finally visited with the Samaritan Infectious Disease Clinic in Corvallis, Oregon the next day. It was finally there that Dr. William Muth was able to diagnose the 23-year-old with Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis.
According to the Daily Mail, the wound was caused by a single-cell parasite called Leishmania. Spencer had the parasite transferred to him when he was bit by a sandfly while in South America said the news source. With the infection close to his eyes and nose, Spencer was in danger of being killed by the parasite. Fortunately the diagnosis of the parasite was able to lead to a 21-day treatment that was able save the Oregon man's life.
While the oozing wound on his face has vanished, Spencer will have to live with a scar from the horrifying parasite. Spencer's frightening ordeal will be featured in a future episode of the Discovery channel's show Monsters Inside Me.