A Michigan father was lucky to be alive after what he thought was a sore throat almost turned into something much more dangerous — and even deadly.
According to WWJ, Grand Rapids resident Kevin Breen, 44, began feeling bad with a sore throat on Christmas Day. Several days after that, he began to have severe stomach pain.
Just a few days later, he was told he would need to have both of his hands and feet amputated. The father of three had a mysterious infection that had spread from his throat to his stomach.
His stomach hardened and a CT scan reveled that it was full of pus. WWJ reported that 1.5 liters of pus was removed from Breen’s belly.
As doctors worked to figure out what was happening with Breen’s body, his organs began to fail. His body reacted by sending blood to those organs, which all but stopped the blood flow to his hands and feet. As a result, the flesh on his appendages began to die.
A rash on Breen’s chest finally pointed the doctors in the right direction, which led them to discover he had a strep infection. They treated it with penicillin, from which Breen recovered. However, the damage to his hand and feet was done.
Dr. Elizabeth Steensma, acute care surgeon at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, told WOOD-TV that Breen was the sickest patient she’d ever treated.
Breen underwent his first amputation Wednesday when doctors removed his right foot. More amputations were scheduled for the future.
Watch news coverage below:
A GoFundMe account has been set up for family to help cover the costs.
WWJ reported that is rare for pus to travel to the stomach as it did in Breen’s case. In fact, it’s only been documented to have occurred 32 times in history.
Steensma offered the best advice when caught off guard by a potentially dangerous health situation: Seek help. Even innocuous injuries can take a deadly serious turn.
“The biggest thing to learn from this is, if you aren’t feeling well, go be seen,” Steensma said. “If you are still having symptoms, go be evaluated.”
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H/T U.K. Daily Mail