IMAGE: Margaret Nolton

A family is trying to raise money to bury their loved one after she died from a flesh-eating bacteria.

“My mom had a heart of gold,” said Mashell Gawne, daughter. “What stood out about her is her smile. My mom had a smile that was amazing. She would always make people feel better if they were down, but now she’s not here to be able to do that.”

Margaret Knowlton, 58, died on Monday. The grandmother of 15 had necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria.

“It just kept eating. Once it hits air it spreads like wild fire. It’s not a pleasant smell. It’s not a pleasant look. Her skin turned black when it was all said and done,” Gawne said.

Knowlton lost part of her colon to the bacteria in 2017. She went into remission until last week when her family rushed her to the emergency room thinking she had food poisoning.

“They had to do an emergency operation, open her stomach up and found out that half her stomach was already done. It had gotten to her organs, her heart, her liver, her kidneys,” Gawne said.

After losing her mom in such a horrifying way, Gawne said her family can’t afford to bury her.

“We’re at a real bad place and we need help. I checked to find out if she had any kind of life insurance or anything, she didn’t have anything,” Gawne said.

They need nearly $2,500 by Monday.

“I have no idea what they’re going to do with her body. That’s what they told us. We have to have the money or they can’t do anything,” Gawne said. “If anybody could please help me bury my mom and get her the funeral she deserves I would greatly appreciate it and my family would too.”

If you want to help the family bury Knowlton, write a check directly to W.L. Case and Co. Funeral Homes and drop it off or send it to 4480 Mackinaw Road, Saginaw, MI 48603.

Write Margaret Knowlton burial under the memo.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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