Indiana girl who contracted flesh-eating disease takes first steps in road to recovery

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana girl who contracted a life-threatening infection while on vacation in Florida is on the road to recovery.

Indiana University Health, who’s treating Kylei Parker, shared video Tuesday of the 12-year-old taking her first steps. According to the hospital, Kylei’s infection is completely under control now and she has begun her long process of physical therapy.

Kylei began feeling pain in her leg towards the end of her family’s trip to Destin last month. When they got back to the Hoosier State, the pain turned into swelling and then a fever. Her mother, Michelle Brown, made an appointment with a doctor, but didn’t realize how bad the situation was until they were directed to the emergency room.

Brown said doctors first thought it might be a blood clot, but soon discovered Kylei had Necrotizing Fasciitis. She had to have surgery to help remove the infection.

"The emergency surgery was to hopefully save her leg, but more importantly, to save her life," Brown said.

The infection is aggressive and life-threatening. According to the CDC, it kills one out of every three people who get it. Prompt medical treatment is key.

The bacteria is usually contracted 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 scuff on her toe, a scrape on her toe, and it almost cost her her life," Brown said.

The CDC says if you have any open wounds, you should avoid spending time in hot tubs, swimming pools and open water. It’s important to keep wounds clean and covered, and if you experience symptoms of an infection, get immediate treatment.

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