3-Year-Old's Life Saved by Brother's Poop (VIDEO)

The last thing most of us want around us is someone else's poop, but in the case of 3-year-old Michael Ham, someone else's poop saved his life. Little Michael came down with a bad case of strep throat last year, and it was just assumed he would get better. But while taking antibiotics for strep, he then came down with a nasty bacterial infection. Nothing was helping, and Michael spent months in the hospital, dehydrated with vomiting and diarrhea. Ugh, what a terrible thing for such a little boy to go through. Eventually, it even looked like the infection might take little Michael's life. But then doctors had a radical idea.

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It turned out that Michael had Clostridium difficile, a "bad bacteria," in his intestines that had basically taken over his body. His condition is called CDiff. Scarily, it is linked to 30,000 deaths per year.

And since spores of the bacteria can actually live outside of the body for months, Michael's mother had to drape everything in plastic and white sheets and had to continually bleach everything so that he wouldn't become reinfected.

Nothing was working with Michael, who began to waste away. Doctors began to consider removing his colon or intestines.

But then the doctor on Michael's case, Dr. Sujal Rangwalla, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, got a bold and experimental idea. What about a stool transplant?

Only two other stool transplants had ever been tried at the hospital, but doctors thought it was worth a try.

With a stool transplant, doctors would take a sample of stool from someone else and implant it in the patient, with the hopes that the patient's own florum, or "good bacteria," would multiply.

So Michael was implanted with his older brother's poop.

Miraculously, it worked. Only the next day, Michael was pronounced cured.

Cases of CDiff are thought to be rising thanks to the overuse of antibiotics, antibacterial soaps, and hand sanitizers. Doctors recommend limiting the use of all and taking a probiotic if you are taking antibiotics.

Michael's life-saving treatment was experimental and therefore not covered by insurance. The family is trying to raise the funds to cover his medical costs. 

Wow, pretty incredible. Kudos to the doctor for thinking outside the box. And kudos to Michael's brother for offering up his poop. Hey, it might make them giggle now, but it saved Michael's life!

Have you heard of this type of infection?

 

Image via KHOU

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