Summertime means time being spent outside at the pools, lakes and beaches. Are you one that likes to spend time in the water? Or lounging in the sun on the sand?
One Tennessee mother is warning other parents about the dangers of hookworm being contracted from the sand.
In June, Michael Dumas and 17 boys from his church went on a missionary trip to Miami, Florida. The teens decided to enjoy one afternoon at Pompano Beach.
Dumas would suffer from his choice when he returned home and discovered they had hookworms on their feet.
Dumas had the worse case, which prompted his mother, Kelli Mulhollen Dumas to issue this warning:
“I’m a dentist, and I have a degree in biology — I have dissected things. Science is my gig,” Mullhollen Dumas said in an interview with PEOPLE.
“But hearing your son has parasitic worms inside of his body and that they’re replicating and growing? As a mother, my stomach tightened up into a big tight ball and started flipping around. I thought I was going to throw up,” she continued.
The medication to treat the hookworms wasn’t cheap.
“He has taken Clindamyacin, Ivermectin, a steroid dose pack, and Albenza which cost $1356 for 6 pills (yes that is with insurance and yes I had to pay it!),” Mulhollen Dumas wrote on Facebook.
“He is in pain and this is AWFUL. Never be buried in sand or allow your children to be either! I am only showing a few pictures because it is so disturbing,” she added.
While doctors found multiple hookworms in underneath Dumas’ skin. When they found one measuring 3 inches they were shocked.
Along with taking several pills, teenager also had to endure a painful cryotherapy session to get rid of the parasites.
“The doctor started on his left foot, between his toes,” Mulhollen Dumas told PEOPLE. “That’s when Michael told her that he could feel the worms moving inside of his body trying to get away as she was torching them. That was disgusting.”
Hookworms enter an individual’s skin if they walk barefoot in areas that could potentially have fecal contamination.
When the family contacted the Health Department in Pompano Beach, they were told:
“Everyone knows to wear shoes on the beach because you can get parasites.”
“My son is going to have permanent scars from this. He has a gaping wound on his right foot. He has four sutures. This is not a joke,” Mullhollen Dumas told PEOPLE.
“This is beyond any scope, I never dreamed this is something that would happen,” she concluded.