An 18-year-old Marine stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California died just eight hours after a flesh-eating disease diagnosis, officials told the Marine Corps Times.

Private First Class William Becket Kiernan died of a bacterial skin infection known as necrotizing fasciitis on February 4, 2018.

He died at Desert Regional Memorial Hospital in Palms Springs, California.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes necrotizing fasciitis as “a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue.” Since 2010, at least 1,200 cases occur each year in the United States.

According to South Coast Today, he was born in Wareham, Massachusetts and graduated from Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. He was an Honors and AP Student.

There will be a wake at Saunders-Dwyer Funeral Home on Thursday, a funeral Mass on Friday at St. Anthony’s Church in Mattapoisett, and a burial at the Massachusetts National Cemetery.


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