Cary W. Phalen was a man who, if he had cut off his finger, would just glue it back on, his wife said.
Even after his spleen ruptured in a work accident in 1985, the 50-year-old Papillion man survived bites, cuts, scratches and other injuries without worry.
That's why Sandie Phalen was shocked to learn that a minor dog bite might have killed her husband of 28 years.
The bite, which looked more like a scratch, occurred Aug. 4. Phalen said her husband cleaned the wound but did not seek medical treatment.
Two days later, the hardworking family man was admitted to an emergency room after he complained of a "weird feeling" in his hands and feet and difficulty breathing, his wife said.
Cary Phalen died Tuesday at Lakeside Hospital.
Phalen's doctors told his wife that the rapidly moving infection that ravaged her husband's organs may have been caused by a bacterium found in dogs' saliva.