'Swamp People': Big Tee Gives Health Update After Devastating Infection

Swamp People star Joseph "Big Tee" Richard provided an update on the devastating foot infection he has been dealing with for weeks. The infection has required multiple surgeries, leading to his family needing help to pay the medical bills. A sports bar in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana will be hosting a fundraiser to help in August.

Richard told Monsters and Critics the infection began after he got a "small tiny tiny cut" on his foot. His doctor said bacteria closed inside the cut, and Richard said his flare-up was linked to his diabetes. He needed surgery the first time for debridement and his doctor opened his foot.

"I went to another surgery to be debrided again and stitched up. A week later I was back in the hospital because a bone in my toe was infected, they left an infected bone in my toe, and muscle…all of what was healed up already," Richard explained. "They open that back up, and then they put whatever [it is] they put in little kids when they get cut to make the flesh take back together."

Richard said he had to go back for more debridement before his foot was closed again. He was sent home with a PIC line in his arm to take a six-week antibiotic treatment.

"I’m traveling back and forth, I went to a doctor yesterday [and] I got to go to one tomorrow. I gotta go back Friday," Richard said.

Richard said he has been out of work for seven weeks and will be out for another five weeks "that my doctor doesn't even want me to sweat."

On July 3, Richard took to Facebook, where he announced Bubba's Sports Bar in Breaux Bridge will host a fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 24.

"I'm having a benefit on August 24th to help pay medical expenses for a foot infection I am still dealing with," Richard wrote on Facebook, alongside graphic photos of his injury. "I was admitted into the hospital for. After 10 days and 2 surgeries later I was able to go home. One week later I was readmitted into the hospital again. I had an infected bone in my foot. After 2 surgeries I was released to go home. They decided to put me a PICC-line (Home IV) for 6 more weeks. Been traveling back and forth to doctor visits almost daily. Just wanted to invite all my friends."

Richard told Monsters and Critics he has known Bubba's owner Bubba Borque for almost 30 years. Borque reached out to him after he saw one of Richard's posts about the injury.

Richard said the one Swamp People co-star who reached out was Daniel Edgar.

"Well, Mr. Daniel donated a tag, so we are going to be auctioning off an alligator hunt, he donated the tag. We are going to donate that [for the fundraiser auction], so we are going to take someone out on an alligator hunt," Richard said.


Richard has appeared on the past two seasons of Swamp People as a sharpshooter for Edgar. The History Channel show recently wrapped up its 10th season.

Photo credit: History Channel