BREAKING NEWS PG&E to turn off power to multiple counties starting midnight Full Story

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

While at a beach in Destin, Florida, 12-year-old Kylei Brown contracted necrotizing fascitis, a rare flesh-eating disease.

Posted: Jun 27, 2019 1:20 PM
Updated: Jun 27, 2019 1:20 PM

A day at the beach has turned into weeks of pain and agony for an Indiana teenager after she contracted a flesh-eating disease in Florida.

At first 12-year-old Kylei Brown and her family couldn't figure out just 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 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 Kylei's pain was even worse. It was so bad she couldn't even walk.

"At that point, I had to put her on my back and carry her around," Brown said. Kylei's leg started to swell and she developed a fever.

It's fast moving and deadly

The family reached out to Kylei's doctor on the way back to Indiana. The doctor told Brown to take Kylei to the emergency room at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, and that's when the family found out that the infection behind her knee was necrotizing fascitis, 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 into emergency surgery trying to remove the infection from her leg. And doing that, they were trying to save her leg and save her because the infection was moving so rapidly," Brown told the TV station.

"If it wasn't for the quick responses and aggressive treatments, I wouldn't have her," Brown told CNN affiliate WXIN.

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

Necrotizing fascitis can be caused by different kinds of bacteria, like Group A Strep or Vibrio vulnificus. The bacteria, often found in water, can enter the body through an open wound. Brown thinks Kylei had a 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 may have been exposed to this bacteria 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, a spokesperson for the health department, said in a email.

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

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 807451

Reported Deaths: 15583
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2669886504
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54386925
Orange530691214
San Diego46331775
Kern31865367
Fresno28199382
Sacramento22183406
Alameda21136406
Santa Clara21030311
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16469205
Stanislaus16452351
Tulare15970263
Ventura12664150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11076101
San Mateo9843150
Monterey980771
Santa Barbara9037113
Merced8872142
Kings763177
Sonoma7369122
Marin6694117
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer356745
San Luis Obispo354429
Butte281944
Yolo279555
Santa Cruz23309
Sutter170511
Napa166913
San Benito134011
Yuba11537
El Dorado11094
Mendocino90818
Shasta80617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5465
Lake53911
Nevada5337
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Oroville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Paradise
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Chester
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 39°
Red Bluff
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 74°
Willows
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 68°
A RED FLAG WARNING will be in place Saturday night through Monday evening due to strong winds and dry weather predicted.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events