On July 4, Rhine developed a patchy blistering rash and had the classic signs of chickenpox. Then, three days later, the boy developed a high fever and low energy levels. Raine developed a red ring around the ulcer, which was reported by her mother, Lynn Passy.
After taking her toddler to the emergency room at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, Lynn says they were given antibiotics and told to go home.
“By this point, the red ring had almost tripled in size,” said Lynn, who refused to leave.
“They were adamant, they were too busy, she was too contagious and I needed to take her home.
“I said I could only leave if I was kicked out – she’s getting worse by the second.”
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Lynn recalled: “They came back again and said there were no beds. At that moment I was crying. I said, “My child is very sick and you are firing her.”
After taking Raine to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, which required a long wait in the emergency room, Lynn noticed that her daughter was getting worse.
“Her temperature rose to almost 42 degrees, she had hallucinations … she no longer screamed and lay almost lifeless.
“I took her in my arms, carried her through the doors and said: “Someone must see my daughter, I feel that she is dying.”
Lenya said:[The doctors] thought she might have necrotizing fasciitis as there was a black mark around the red ring.”
Necrotizing fasciitis, also known as “carnivore disease,” is a rare and life-threatening infection, according to the NHS.
The symptoms of carnivorous disease may “develop rapidly, within a few hours or a few days.”
Initially, there may be “severe pain or loss of sensation near the cut or wound”, swelling around the affected area, and flu-like symptoms.
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Flu-like symptoms include high fever, headaches, and fatigue.
Later, the infection can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and black, purple, or gray patches and blistering of the skin.
The NHS warns: “Necrotizing fasciitis worsens quickly and can be fatal. He needs to be treated in the hospital as soon as possible.”
Lynn, 31, said: “This is terrible. You never expect it to happen to you until it does.
“I just want people to understand that this is so serious. It wasn’t chickenpox, it was Streptococcus A that had entered through the wound.”
Lynn stated, “I went from being a baby with chickenpox to having to undergo major surgery—I was screaming and thinking there was a chance she was going to die.”
After getting a brief appointment to kiss and hug Rain, her daughter was sent to the operating room for four hours.
The NHS says treatment for carnivorous disease usually includes antibiotics and surgery to remove the affected area; sometimes amputation of the affected limbs is necessary.
Now Rain has a big scar on her side, but she’s been discharged and loves to tell people that she won the “battle with the crocodile.”
A spokesman for Malling Health, which operates the Dudley Urgent Care Center, said: “We regret the experience that was shared with us recently.
“We cannot comment on specific details of the services provided due to patient privacy.
“We are proud of the standards of care provided at our centers and continue to work tirelessly in collaboration with local NHS partners to ensure that all patients receive safe, high-quality care and support.”
A spokesperson for the NHS Foundation for Women and Children of Birmingham said: “Chickenpox is a very common childhood illness that usually lasts five to seven days.
“In some cases, the skin may be infected, a sign of this may be a high fever after the fifth day, in this situation, parents are strongly advised to see a doctor at their GP or the Walking Center, who can prescribe antibiotics to help.
“In some extremely rare cases, the infection can be more serious and cause necrotizing fasciitis, which can be caused by Streptococcus A, which will be treated in the hospital. We hope Raine is making a good recovery.”