The disturbing term flesh-eating bacteria has been a top news item lately, what with the tragic story about grad student Aimee Copeland and her battle with necrotizing fasciitis. Now there's another woman who's dealing with the exact same infection, and while she fights for her health, she has two newborn babies at home.
Lana Kuykendall, a paramedic, knew something was wrong when she noticed a fast-spreading red and black bruise on the back of her leg. Just hours after she'd been discharged after giving birth to healthy twins, she was back in the hospital—and in surgery for necrotizing fasciitis.
Kuykendall and her husband welcomed their twins, Abigail and Ian, on May 7 at an Atlanta hospital. While Lana needed blood during the delivery, everything else seemed perfectly normal and the twins were fine.
However, by the next day, Kuykendall couldn't stand or walk, and her friend said she began deteriorating rapidly:
She just kept getting worse in front of your eyes. She would just get worse and worse and worse. Every minute it was like she was going down. She was never really able to hold (her babies) and enjoy it.
She's undergone several surgeries to remove dead skin and tissue, and for now, the bacteria seems to have stopped spreading. No one knows how she contracted the infection, but everyone's very concerned about this new mom and hoping she can be home with her children soon.
A family friend said,
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. We're just asking people to pray for her, and lift her up at this point.
A friend is helping care for the twins, who she describes as healthy, gaining weight, and "really cute kids missing their mommy."
What a terrifying situation this is for Lana Kuykendall and her loved ones. I cannot even imagine what they must be going through, first experiencing the indescribable joy of welcoming the babies into the world, then having everything turn upside down in a matter of hours. There's something just so unspeakably tragic about this happening to a new mom, who wants nothing more than to be with her babies—and instead she's fighting for her life, and her future with her children.
I'm crossing my fingers this story has a happy ending, and that Kuykendall recovers quickly and is able to hold her newborn twins as soon as possible.
What words of encouragement would you give this ailing mom, if you could?
Image via Flickr/armymedicine