Eight-year-old boy dies from flesh-eating bacteria after falling off bike

Liam Flanagan was diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis

Lydia Smith
Saturday 27 January 2018 17:35
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A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family of Liam Flanagan
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family of Liam Flanagan

A young boy has died after contracting a rare flesh-eating bacteria after falling off his bike.

Liam Flanagan, 8, from Pilot Rock in Oregon, was riding down a hill when he fell, sustaining a cut on his leg which required stitches.

He was treated in hospital and sent home to recover, but three days later he was still complaining of pain in his thigh and groin.

The boy’s mother, Sara Hebard, and her husband, Scott Hinkle, checked him and noticed the skin around the area was discoloured.

Liam was taken to hospital and diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis, a rare but serious bacterial infection that affects the tissue underneath the skin and the surrounding muscles and organs.

The bacteria is believed to have entered the boy's body via soil in his cut.

Liam was taken to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, where surgeons amputated parts of his body to try to save his life.

“Almost his whole right side was gone. They kept cutting and hoping. Cutting and hoping,” Ms Hebard told the East Oregonian.

The child’s condition deteriorated and his died in hospital on 21 January.

Ms Hebard has said she wants to raise awareness of the symptoms of necrotising fasciitis, which include intense pain that is out of proportion with damage to the skin, flu-like symptoms, swelling and discoloured skin, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“He was a lovable kid. He never had a bad word to say,” Mr Hinkle said. “We don’t want any other parents to go through this.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the boy’s family.

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