[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A 4-year-old girl is lucky to be alive after a weeks-long battle with a flesh-eating bacteria.
UK native Leanne Passey is opening up about her young daughter Reign’s terrifying medical case, which began with what she initially believed to be chickenpox. She told the South West News Service earlier this week that after the chickenpox developed, she noticed a raised temperature and extreme exhaustion in her little one, which the concerned mother believed to be the result of group A strep.
However, after a ring began to develop around one of Reign’s sores, Leanne rushed her daughter to a local emergency room, where… she was prescribed antibiotics and told to go back home. But the worried mother knew there was more that needed to be done:
“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.”
The two continued to be dismissed by the medical staff, which eventually led them to a separate hospital — where they had to wait SIX hours as Reign’s condition worsened. Leanne recalled her 4-year-old’s temperature had reached nearly 107 degrees:
“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.’”
Reign was finally given the attention she needed and rushed into what became a 4-hour surgery, where doctors confirmed she had contracted necrotizing fasciitis — “a rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly in the body and can cause death,” per the CDC.
Physicians had to make a large cut on the little one’s side to fully remove the infection and prevent it from spreading. They believe the bacteria was caused by group A streptococcus, which is the most common cause of the infection, according to the CDC. Leanne recalled:
“Her face and body were swollen — she didn’t look right at all. We walked her to [the operating room], and the surgeon explained it had spread and she was in septicemia — we didn’t know if she was going to survive.”
After coming out of surgery, Reign’s condition didn’t improve, prompting doctors to place her in an induced coma and provide her with breathing support in the ICU. She spent three weeks in the hospital before miraculously recovering. Her mother explained that Reign is doing well now, and even jokes about her scar, saying she got it from, “winning a fight against a crocodile.” Adorable!
Passey told the outlet she wants to share her daughter’s story to potentially help other families:
“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.”
We’re so glad Reign is recovering well. Thanks to her mother’s relentless concern, she’s still alive today. And she’s absolutely right. Parents need to know they have to be advocates for their kids — and sometimes that means telling doctors who think they’re “too busy” to look again.
[Image via Leanne Passey/Facebook.]