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Indiana mom shares warning after daughter contracts flesh-eating bacteria while wading in the ocean

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Posted at 2:42 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 08:24:49-04

FLORIDA — A mother in Indiana is warning other parents about the dangers of swimming in the water with any open wounds — especially in the ocean.

Michelle Brown shared her daughter, Kylei's story on Facebook this month.

"After days of only knowing she had contracted a bacteria and quickly turning into an aggressive infection, I now have a name. Kylei has Necrotizing Fasciitis," Michelle wrote. "This is a type of flesh eating bacteria, that is normally found in water. It can be contracted by a scrape, wound, new tattoo, or even through a bruised area of skin.

She and her family went to Florida for vacation and while they were there, they visited the beach.

"We were on vacation, enjoying the warm weather and the beach," Michelle wrote.

She said when her family went to Pompano beach on Sunday, June 9, it was closed because the storms the day prior had stirred up the water but they were still determined to enjoy their beach day.

"The storms from the days prior had stirred up the ocean and it wasn’t as clear as it normally is. The water looked murky. We were only allowed in the water to our ankles because the waves were huge and the undertow was too dangerous," Michelle posted. "We made the best of it and had a great day at the beach."

The next morning, Kylei woke up with pain in her calf, according to Michelle. They thought it was just a Charlie horse and she walked it off. Tuesday and Wednesday it got worse and Michelle said she made Kylei and appointment for when they got home.

"June 12th, she had severe pain in her calf and was in tears trying to walk," Michelle wrote. "She couldn't. I had to put her on my back and carry her around. We left for home that morning."

By the time they got to their doctor Thursday morning, things had already progressed to serious levels and Michelle said they were told to take her immediately to Riley.

"Everything started going downhill quickly, because to sum things up some, she had contracted a bacteria somehow that had already turned into infection," Michelle wrote. "It was an aggressive infection and has already spread up her leg to her thigh. Her BP was in critical numbers and her HR was very high. They had 4 IVs in and pumping fluids aggressively by machine and by hand simultaneously."

At Riley, doctors administered multiple tests and had to do immediate surgery to try to save her leg, Michelle wrote. She had developed septic shock and after multiple surgeries, antibiotics and other treatments Kylei was released to go home. She's still taking antibiotics and has a long road to recovery.

"I whole heartedly believe she contracted the bacteria through a scrape on her big toe (foot on same leg), while we visited Pompano Beach in Destin, Florida. I am just so thankful for the many prayers, the quick response and efforts of her medical teams and the aggressive treatment she has received. Because of that, I still have my baby girl with me today. We are not completely better, but we are on the road to recovery."

" I wanted to share her story in hopes that it may help save someone else. It is CRITICAL to be aware of the signs and symptoms and getting treatment quickly," Michelle wrote.