INDIANA (CNN) – A family vacation to a Florida beach left an Indiana 12-year-old hospitalized with a life-threatening infection.
She contracted flesh-eating bacteria from warm Gulf of Mexico waters through a tiny scratch on her toe.
Michelle brown and her 12-year-old daughter Kylei are thankful to be sitting on their Mooresville patio, thankful to be walking, thankful to be alive.
“And it’s just so hard seeing … friends and family, you know, on the beach having fun, because we were there doing the same thing and I almost lost her.”
Earlier this month, the family was vacationing in Destin, Florida … When Kylei began feeling pain in her leg.
When they got back to Indiana, the pain turned into swelling, then a fever and Kylei was taken to the ER.
And was soon in surgery.
“The emergency surgery was to hopefully save her leg, but more importantly to save her life.”
Kylei contracted a rare bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis — an aggressive, life-threatening infection that kills one out of every three people who get it.
“If it wasn’t for their quick responses and aggressive treatments…I wouldn’t have her.”
It’s usually found in water and enters through an open wound.
On their trip to the beach, Kylei stuck her toes in the water just days after scuffing her toe on a skateboard.
“It started from a spot on her toe, a scuff on her toe and, I mean, it almost cost her, her life.”
Finally, back home, Kylei still has a needle in her arm for antibiotics.
Her leg is still wrapped and she’s starting therapy to walk again.
“I’ve told my mom multiple times I just want to be normal again, like, with my leg.”
As they start their long road to recovery, Michelle wants other families to know the dangers and the signs so other family vacations to the beach don’t end in tragedy.
The Florida Department of Health said they are working with the Alabama and Indiana Departments of Health to collect information on the case.
(This story was originally published on June 27, 2019)