‘Miracle child’ makes unexpected recovery from flesh-eating bacteria

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A dancer’s dream was nearly dashed by a rare, flesh-eating bacteria.

Olivia Kiger-Camilo was called a “miracle child” after her astonishing recovery from the infection, which strikes only about 2,000 people annually.

The 17-year-old from West Virginia was at a dancing competition in March when she realized her foot was wounded and bleeding — and believed she had potentially broken a toe.

In spite of the pain, she pushed through the competition, cleaning the wound and icing her foot before continuing on, according to the Intelligencer.

“As a dancer, as an athlete, you kind of just brush it aside,” Kiger-Camilo told CBS affiliate WTRF. But as the hours went by, the pain grew more intense. That’s when she realized it was something serious.

The teen was in the hospital for almost a month following the diagnosis.
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Her parents rushed her to the hospital, although no amount of painkillers or treatment seemed to reduce the pain.

Within 24 hours, her condition had worsened: The dancer’s foot turned black and blue, her blood pressure plummeted and her body temperature spiked to 103-degrees Fahrenheit.

The teen was soon airlifted to West Virginia University Medicine Children’s Hospital in Morgantown, where she was diagnosed with a rare case of monomicrobial necrotizing fasciitis — which can be fatal.

Kiger-Camilo soon found herself in the pediatric intensive care unit on a ventilator and spent nearly a month there undergoing multiple surgeries to remove the bacteria.

Despite her lengthy stay, Kiger-Camilo said she was never afraid, and praised hospital staff for their care and support.

“I had, like, a new family there to take care of me, and I never felt scared,” she said. “I always knew that there was going to be someone there to help me whether it was to make me laugh or to hold my hand or to give me medicine.”

The 17-year-old is thrilled she'll be able to dance again.
The 17-year-old is thrilled she’ll be able to dance again.
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Kiger-Camilo went back to WVU hospital at the end of April for a skin graft, and went home for good at the beginningof May. She has since been cleared by doctors to begin physical therapy to work on improving her strength and mobility which were diminished after the month she spent bedbound.

The young athlete will be honored as a “Miracle Child” during the WVU Medicine Children’s Gala on August 6.

“The transport team saved my life, and it saves my life everyday,” she told WTRF. “Children who wouldn’t be able to get competent medical care wherever they live — they have a chance at life because there are resources that can take them to a hospital of incredibly compassionate, highly trained people who that’s all they do. They save lives every day.”

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