MOORESVILLE, Ind. (CNN) – A family vacation to a Florida beach left a 12-year-old Indiana girl hospitalized with a life-threatening infection.
She contracted flesh-eating bacteria from warm Gulf of Mexico waters- through a tiny scratch on her toe.
Kylei and her mother Michelle Brown are thankful to be alive.
Earlier this month the family was vacationing in Destin, Florida when Kylei began feeling pain in her leg.
When they got back to Indiana, the pain turned into swelling and then a fever.
Kylei was taken to the ER and was soon in surgery.
“The emergency surgery was to hopefully save her leg, but more importantly to save her life,” Brown said.
Kylei contracted a rare bacterial infection called Necrotizing Fasciitis- an aggressive, life-threatening infection that kills one out of every three people who get it.
It’s usually found in water and enters through an open wound.
On their trip to the beach, Kylei stuck her toes in the water just days after scuffing her toe on a skateboard.
“It started from a spot on her toe, a scuff on her toe and, I mean, it almost cost her her life,” said Brown.
Finally back home, Kylei still has a needle in her arm for antibiotics.
Her leg is still wrapped and she’s starting therapy to walk again.
As they start their long road to recovery, Michelle wants other families to know the dangers and signs so other family vacations to the beach don’t end in tragedy.