12-year-old girl contracts a flesh-eating bacteria while on vacation in Florida
A day at the beach has turned into weeks of pain and agony for an Indiana teenager after she contracted a flesh-eating disease in Florida.
At first 12-year-old Kylei Brown and her family couldn't figure out just what was going on with her. The family, from Indiana, arrived in Destin earlier this month on vacation.
After a day spent frolicking on a beach, Kylei woke up with an awful pain in her lower leg.
"Monday, we wake up to begin our day and Kylei wakes up and she has pain in her calf on her right leg," her mother Michelle Brown told CNN affiliate WKRG.
Everyone just thought it was a charlie horse, Brown said, so the family continued on with their vacation. But the next day Kylei's pain was even worse. It was so bad she couldn't even walk.
"At that point, I had to put her on my back and carry her around," Brown said. Kylei's leg started to swell and she developed a fever.
It's fast moving and deadly
The family reached out to Kylei's doctor on the way back to Indiana. The doctor told Brown to take Kylei to the emergency room, and that's when the family found out that the infection behind her knee was necrotizing fascitis, a rare flesh-eating disease. It's fast-moving and deadly, and 1 in 3 people who get it die, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
"They were taking her into emergency surgery trying to remove the infection from her leg. And doing that, they were trying to save her leg and save her because the infection was moving so rapidly," Brown told the TV station.
"If it wasn't for the quick responses and aggressive treatments, I wouldn't have her," Brown told CNN affiliate WXIN.
Days of surgeries lie ahead
As she recovers, Kylei faces days of surgeries and months of therapy so she can learn how to walk again. So far she's had three surgeries. The family has put out a GoFundMe page to collect donations to help pay for her escalating medical bills.
Brown thinks Kylei contracted the disease after she hurt herself on a skateboard before the family left for Florida. The bacteria, often found in water, can enter the body through an open wound.
The CDC recommends avoiding spending time in natural bodies of water, hot tubs or swimming pools with you have an open wound.
CNN has reached out to the family and the hospital, and is waiting to hear back.
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