12-Year-Old Is Walking Again After Contracting Flesh-Eating Bacteria During Family Vacation

"We will have numerous doctors visits, physical therapy and blood work to continue, but all that matters is my girl is ALIVE," her mom wrote

A 12-year-old girl’s family says she is “on the road to recovery” after she contracted a deadly flesh-eating bacteria during a Florida vacation last month.

Doctors worked to save Kylei Parker’s right leg and her life after she got necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection. Now, just weeks after entering a Indiana University Health hospital, she’s walking again, according to Inside Edition.

“She’s rocked this recovery thing so far,” Kylei’s mom, Michelle Brown said, according to Inside Edition.

“We weren’t expecting her to be able to walk for a few months. We haven’t even started therapy yet and she’s already been working on it at home and she’s made huge progress,” Brown said, adding, “She has determination, she’s a go-getter for sure.”

Kylei was shown smiling as she walked through the hospital on her own and used a walker in her family’s home.

“It feels good,” she said.

Kylei, from Indiana, had only been in Destin with her family for a few days in early June when what was intended to be a “fun family vacation” took a turn for the worse, according to her mom. They swam in the hotel pool and also went to the beach in Destin where, due to the water’s turbulence, they were only allowed to go in ankle-deep.

“Monday morning, June 10, she woke up with pain in her calf. [The next day], she woke with more pain and could only walk on her toes the whole day,” Brown, wrote in a Facebook post last week.

Brown continued: “Wednesday morning … she had severe pain in her calf and was in tears trying to walk. She couldn’t. I had to put her on my back and carry her around.”

The family returned to Indianapolis where doctors discovered Kylei had a temperature of at 104.5 degrees, according to Inside Edition. That’s when they diagnosed her with the illness.

One in three people with necrotizing fasciitis does not survive, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can lead to shock, sepsis and organ failure along with the loss of limbs or severe scarring.

Brown said that Kylei hurt herself on a skateboard before traveling to Florida, and she believes the injury (on the same leg that became infected) left her daughter vulnerable. She shared photos of Kylei’s illness online.

“They were taking her into emergency surgery trying to remove the infection from her leg,” Brown told TV station WKRG. “And doing that, they were trying to save her leg and save her because the infection was moving so rapidly.”

Brown wrote in a lengthy Facebook post that she is glad Kylei is doing well and hopes what happened can serve as a warning for others.

“We are not completely better, but we are on the road to recovery. We will have numerous doctors visits, physical therapy and blood work to continue, but all that matters is my girl is ALIVE,” she wrote.

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

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