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Girl contracts flesh-eating bacteria on popular Florida beach

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 16:59:35-04

DESTIN, Fla. (WTXL) — A 12-year-old Indiana girl contracted a rare flesh-eating disease at a popular Florida beach a few weeks ago.

Michelle Brown, the mother of the girl, said they arrived in Destin, Fla. on June 7 for a family vacation, but it stormed the first couple of days, so they weren't able to hit the beach. Two days later, they were finally about to hit the beach.

According to the Destin Log, the family visited Pompano Beach, which could refer to a Destin beach access or a similarly named location in Walton County.

"We were only allowed in the water to our ankles because the waves were huge and the undertow was too dangerous," said Brown in a Facebook post. "We made the best of it and had a great day at the beach."

The next day, her daughter woke up with a pain in her calf and they thought it was just a charlie horse. It got better throughout the day and she walked fine.

On June 11, her daughter's pain reached an unusual high and she could only walk on her toes the whole day, before the pain came too crippling for her to walk.

"I had to put her on my back and carry her around," said Brown.

When they got back home, she was taken to the ER where doctors noticed a pocket of infection was behind her knee, making her condition, critical. Doctors diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis, a very rare flesh-eating disease.

They were able to remove the infection via needle, then doctors took her in for emergency surgery to try to remove the infection.

"The infection was in her muscle lining (fascia). They put on a wound vac instead of closing it. 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," said Brown in her Facebook post.

In a third surgery, doctors didn't find any more infection so they ultimately closed it.

Brown said her daughter is doing better and stabilized, but she is still sick and has a long road of recovery to go.

She is now home and Brown says she believes her daughter contracted the bacteria through a scrape on her big toe (foot on same leg), while they visited Pompano Beach.