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A 12-year-old girl contracting a flesh-eating bacteria while on vacation in Florida



At first 12-year-old Kyle Brown and her family could not figure out 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 a 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 Kyle's pain was even worse. It was so bad she could not even walk

"At that point, I should have put it on my back and carry it around," Brown said.

It's fast moving and deadly

The family has reached out to Kyle's doctor on the way back to Indiana. The doctor told Brown to take Kyle to the emergency room at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, and that's when the family found that the infection behind her knee was a necrotizing fasciitis, 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 to emergency surgery trying to remove the infection from her leg. were trying to save her leg and save her because the infection was moving so fast, Brown told the TV station

"If it was not for the quick responses and aggressive treatments, I would not have it," Brown

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 had three surgeries. The family has put out a GoFundMe page to collect donations to help pay for her escalating medical bills.

Necrotizing fasciitis can be caused by different types of bacteria such as Group A Strep or Vibrio vulnificus. The bacteria, often found in water, can enter the body through an open wound. Brown thinks Kyle's snake and wound on her lower leg after she hurt herself on a skateboard before the family left for Florida.

The CDC recommends avoiding spending time in natural bodies of water, hot tubs or swimming pools if you have an open wound

The Florida Department of Health said it had not been contacted by the family or anyone who said they might have been exposed to this bacterium in the state.

"We are taking this issue seriously and are working with the Alabama and Indiana departments of health to collect information on this case and determine if this was caused by a bacteria such as vibrio or any other reportable health condition, Emerson George, and a spokesperson for the health department, said in an email

CNN has reached out to the family and is waiting to hear back


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