GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Michigan man will have his hands and feet amputated this week following a rare case of strep throat that almost killed him, WOOD-TV reports.
Kevin Breen, 44, of Grand Rapids, started feeling sick on Christmas last year. A few days later, he had unbearable stomach pain and was rushed to the emergency room. A CT scan showed his stomach was filled with pus.
“He was one of the sickest patients I have ever taken care of,” Dr. Elizabeth Steensma, an acute care surgeon at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, told WOOD-TV.
Breen’s organs began to fail, and in an effort to keep him alive, doctors redirected the blood flow in his body to the organs, leaving the flesh on his hands and feet to die.
Doctors still couldn’t figure out the source of the problem until they learned Breen’s son recently had strep throat.
The ran a test on Breen and discovered he had contracted the same infection, but it traveled from his throat to his stomach.
Steensma tells WOOD-TV that there have been 32 cases of patients contracting strep throat and having the infection travel to the abdomen.
Breen’s hands and feet are completely black now, and he will begin the process to have them amputated today. Breen is the father of two young children and unable to work for the time being, so his family set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.