David Ireland, from Orlando in Florida, dies after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria. 

A father of four from Florida has died from a rare flesh-eating bacteria, after having a quarter of his skin removed in an attempt to stop its rapid spread.

Fifty-year-old David Ireland died on Thursday after being diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare life-threatening bacterial infection that can spread through the body rapidly.

Ireland was first admitted to the emergency ward at a Florida hospital with “flu-like symptoms" but his condition quickly deteriorated. He underwent three surgeries that removed 25% of his skin to hold back the bacteria but remained in a critical condition. 

"I am setting up this GoFundMe for my brother, David Ireland. He was recently diagnosed as having Necrotizing Fasciitis (Strep A, Flesh-Eating Bacteria)," a GoFundMe set up by his brother Daniel Ireland read. 

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David Ireland and his wife Jody. Image: GoFundMe.

David Ireland and his wife Jody. Image: GoFundMe.

"He is now in Critical Condition in the Intensive Care Unit (Florida Hospital). He has had 3 surgeries to remove over 25% of the skin on his body. His kidneys have failed. His blood pressure and acid numbers from his liver are starting to level off, showing a hopeful sign of recovery. This GoFundMe page would cover his hospital bills, living expenses for his wife, Jody Ireland, and their two young girls, Ruth and Rebekah. Thank you in advance for your prayers, kindness, and generosity."

On Thursday, August 29, Daniel revealed to donors that his brother had passed away. 

"David passed away this evening," he wrote.

"He fought very hard against this disease and all of us will miss him dearly. Your prayers and financial support are greatly appreciated. He meant the world to all of us."

David Ireland and his siblings. Image: GoFundMe.

David Ireland and his siblings. Image: GoFundMe.

Necrotizing fasciitis commonly enters the body through open wounds, but can also be contracted after an injury, according to the US’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

It is not known exactly how David contracted the disease as he did not swim in the ocean or lakes but did swim in the pool at his condo. 

The 50-year-old ad recently noticed a cut on his leg before his leg started to hurt first in the knee and spreading to his hip.