Sad Reality: New Mom Of Twins Is Latest Victim Of Flesh-Eating Disease

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flesh eating bacteriaI’ve been reading a lot about Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old Georgia woman who’s been battling a nasty flesh-eating bacteria she sustained in a zip-lining accident. She has so far had a leg amputated and may also lose some fingers, and it’s just heart-wrenching to hear about her struggle as her family sits by her side. Now a second case of flesh-eating bacteria is being reported in a less than a week, a fact that’s making many people take notice. The latest victim is 36-year-old Lana Kuykendall, a South Carolina mother of twins who noticed an unusual spot on the back of her leg just days after giving birth.

Kuykendall, who’s a paramedic, checked back into the hospital to have it looked at (she figured it might be a blood clot). Her friend, Kayla Moon, said it looked like “a bruise with a red outline,” and that it was about the size of her palm. Six hours later, after checking into the hospital, it was the size of a sheet of paper. “By the time she went in to surgery and they thought they knew what it was, it had consumed practically her whole leg ”she told TODAY.

After diagnosing Kuykendall with flesh-eating bacteria, doctors performed four surgeries in six days (their goal was to remove tissue from her leg to prevent the bacteria from spreading).

It’s scary no matter how you slice it and, like most moms, I think first and foremost of Kuykendall and all that she’s had to endure but also of the sad reality that she has newborn twins waiting for her at home. It’s just devastating. Fortunately, doctors got it early in Kuykendall, and they’re hopeful she won’t lose any limbs.

Meanwhile, there are no doubt countless people who are now freaked out about flesh-eating disease – necrotizing fasciitis is its clinical name – and what it means for them and their families. But rest assured that experts don’t think it’s on the rise despite these recent cases that have drawn  so much attention in the media. NBC health editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman told TODAY there are only 500 to 1,000 cases a year (around 25% of those are fatal).

Another friend of Kuykenall, Krissy Davidson, said it seems the bacteria has stopped spreading. “Right now, just very worried, very upset. Still in disbelief that here is my friend, who just had these two beautiful babies, and now she is intubated upstairs, and not able to enjoy the bonding experience, and enjoy the babies,” she said. “We’re just asking people to pray for her, and lift her up at this point.”

On its website, MSNBC has information about a fund, under the name Darren Kuykendall, that’s been set up to help the family with expenses. Donations can be sent to the credit union at 211 Patewood Drive, Greenville, SC 29615 or by calling 864-455-7112.