US mum fights flesh-eating bacteria, reunites with twins

US mum fights flesh-eating bacteria, reunites with twins

This mother was hospitalised with an aggressive flesh-eating infection just days after giving birth to twins.

South Carolina new mother Lana Kuykendall, 36, was admitted to Greenville Memorial Hospital on May 11 after a painful spot on her leg was diagnosed as necrotising fasciitis, a serious infection of the skin and soft tissues, reported Reuters.

Within 90 minutes of her admission into the hospital, she was in emergency surgery to remove the dead, infected flesh on her leg to stop the bacteria from spreading, the Greenville News reported.

Before she went into surgery, Mrs Kuykendall and her husband Darren had watched in horror as the infection visibly spread throughout her leg.

Said Mr Kuykendall, a firefighter: "The longer she sat there, the bigger that spot got." The infection grew about 0.6cm an hour.

Mrs Kuykendall is just one of the five victims ravaged by flesh-eating bacteria across the South, with some losing their limbs to the infection, reported the Daily Mail.

The infection is caused by the skin bacteria Group A streptococcus, said Dr Bill Kelly, epidemiologist for the Greenville Hospital System.

Mrs Kuykendall had almost 20 surgical procedures to treat the infection, and is scheduled to have skin graft surgery on her legs, said hospital spokesman Sandy Dees.

She also underwent extensive hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but has not had to have any limbs amputated, Ms Dees added.

The new mother was reunited with her babies, Abigail and Ian, only last Wednesday - a month after their birth - when doctors deemed her well enough to be exposed to them.


"Lana grinned from ear to ear when she was holding them," her brother Brian Swaffer said.

"She has improved tremendously over the last week," said Mr Kuykendall in a statement last Thursday.

Mrs Kuykendall, who was previously in critical but stable condition, has become more alert and responsive.

She is also communicating by blinking, pointing and mouthing words, her family members said.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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