Four-Year-Old Girl Was Left Fighting For Her Life After Strep-A Turned Into A Flesh-Eating Bacterial Infection

If you’re a parent, there’s a good chance you’ve dealt with a strep diagnosis in your home. It’s fairly common in all of its many variations, and treating it is typically pretty straightforward.

We live in a strange world, though, and just when you think you can get comfortable, you read something that changes your mind.

British mom Leanne Passey learned that lesson firsthand after her daughter, Reign, contracted chickenpox – and on top of that, group A strep.

Image Credit: iStock

Strep A can cause a host of illnesses, like strep throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, impetigo, and necrotizing fasciitis.

It’s the latter that ended up being the concern after Passey noticed a red ring growing around one of Reign’s chickenpox sores. She took her daughter to the emergency room and was given an antibiotic.

“By this point the red ring had almost tripled in size. They were adamant they were too busy, she was too contagious and I needed to take her home. I said the only way I was leaving was if they kicked me out – she was deteriorating by the second.”

No one suspected the truth – that it was necrotizing fasciitis – yet.

This flesh-eating disease kills the body’s soft tissue around muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels and can be lethal scary fast.

1 in 5 people die from the infection and all require surgery to remove the infected tissue, in addition to antibiotics.

Image Credit: Leanne Passey

Luckily, Passey did not take no for an answer and took her daughter to another hospital, where she waited hour after hour for answers.

“She’d gone past the point of screaming and was lying there, almost lifeless. I picked her up and carried her through the doors and said, ‘Someone needs to see my daughter; I feel like she’s dying.'”

Doctors took note after the girl’s temperature registered at 107 degrees, finally diagnosing the problem and rushing her into a four-hour surgery.

Still, Reign’s survival was touch-and-go for awhile. She had to be put into an induced coma and given breathing support in the ICU.

“Her face and body were swollen – she didn’t work right at all. …The surgeon explained it had spread and she was in septicemia – we didn’t know if she was going to survive.”

Luckily, after three weeks in the hospital, Reign did pull through and other than having a large scar, is no worse for the wear.

Image Credit: Leanne Passey

Passey hopes that by sharing her story, other parents will have it in the backs of their minds if something feels off with their own little ones.

“It’s horrendous. You never expect it to happen to you until it does. I just want people to understand that it’s so serious. It wasn’t the chickenpox; it was the strep that got through the wound.”

I think the moral of the story is to listen to your gut, and don’t take no for an answer when it comes to your children.

No one knows them as well as you do…and also we don’t know strep as well as we might think.