On January 13, 2018, Liam Flanagan was riding his cycle downhill at the family's Spring Creek when he fell and injured his thigh, near his groin.
A piece of the cycle handle had gouged in his thigh and blood was soaking his jeans. So the parents took him to an emergency room (ER) nearby Pendleton where he received a couple of minor stitches.
It didn't seem like anything was wrong but the pain aggravated over the next few days. His parents immediately took him to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton where their worse fear began to unfold.
Doctors tried to save his life by amputating parts of his body. They kept cutting and have removed muscles from his ankle to his armpit as the infection was spreading rapidly.
"Almost his whole right side was gone. They were cutting and hoping. Cutting and hoping." said Liam's mother.
On Sunday, doctors hoped to get help from another team and moved Liam to another hospital - Randall Children's Hospital. Liam died that night.
Necrotizing fasciitis (NF), commonly called flesh-eating disease is a serious infection that destroys tissues under the skin. Infection occurs when bacteria enters through a wound or opening in the skin. Symptoms include pain, discoloration of the skin, swollen tissues, blisters, and there may be a discharge of fluid from the wound site. In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting may also be present.
It may be treated with IV antibiotics and surgical removal of infected tissues.