Published: Fri, June 28, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Girl, 12, contracts deadly 'flesh-eating' disease at Florida beach

Girl, 12, contracts deadly 'flesh-eating' disease at Florida beach

"This disease is very overwhelming and very rapidly progressive and can develop in any patient population, whether they are previously healthy or not", said Dr. Kamal Abulebda, a Pediatric Intensivist at Riley Children's Hospital.

Safely back at home Kylei is on a drip for antibiotics and is beginning the hard process of learning to walk again.

"If it wasn't for the quick responses and aggressive treatments, I wouldn't have her", Brown told CNN affiliate WXIN.

"We learned Kylei had a very serious infection and the surgery to remove the infection was to try to save her leg, but most importantly her life". According to doctors, that's a deadly combination with a grim outlook.

Everyone just thought it was a charlie horse, Brown said, so the family continued on with their vacation. Dr. Abulebda told WXIN.

"They were taking into emergency surgery trying to remove the infection from her leg".

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"You have to be very prompt and very urgent in the way you recognise it, order the proper test, talk to the appropriate consultation service and surgery service to address the problem before it becomes irreversible".

Kylei Parker contracted a flesh-eating infection while on a Florida beach holiday with her family.

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Later, "I had to put her on my back and carry her around", she said. "A lot of the times, what we've seen before when we have this kind of infection, necrotizing fasciitis, we are not able to save the extremities because they are already dead, and there's nothing you can save". Even with treatment, up to 1 in 3 people diagnosed with the infection die.

Kylei's mom, Michelle Brown, called the doctor to schedule an appointment but was urged to go to the hospital right away.

"We are taking this issue seriously and are working with the Alabama and IN departments of health to collect information on this case and determine if this was caused by a bacteria such as vibrio or any other reportable health condition, Emerson George, a spokesperson for the health department, said IN a email".

But once the rash started, it moved quickly. I wanted to share her story in the hope that it can help to save someone else.

"I whole heartedly believe she contracted the bacteria through a scrape on her big toe (foot on same leg), while we visited Pompano Beach in Destin, Florida".

This infection is rare, but it can happen to anyone.

Michelle is now warning other parents to be wary about letting their kids swim in open water with cuts and scrapes.

It's important to keep wounds clean and covered, and if you experience symptoms of an infection, get immediate treatment.

The CDC has more information on necrotizing fasciitis.

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