A rare type of Strep throat has left Kevin Breen, 44, a quadruple amputee. Breen told local media that he still cannot believe that a trip to a Michigan hospital’s emergency room with a stomach ache resulted in him losing his limbs and fighting for his life. Breen added that he never imagined he’d go to the hospital with a stomach ache and come out a different person, reports FOX 49.
Doctors discovered that Breen’s stomach was hard and filled with pus. While at the hospital Breen went into septic shock. Doctors put him on a ventilator because his organs were beginning to fail. His blood flow began to slow, which led to tissue death in both his feet and hands. The tissue death resulted in him requiring a quadruple amputation.
Doctors struggled at first to diagnose Breen’s “mysterious illness.” Dr. Elizabeth Steensma told the media that Breen was one of the sickest patients that she had ever seen.
Doctors figured out what was wrong when a rash appeared on Breen’s stomach. Doctors then tested Breen for Strep throat. The Strep test came back positive. The Strep throat had traveled from Breen’s throat to his stomach. Breen is only the second man in the world that this has happened to, reports KFOR.
Breen says that his son had been diagnosed with Strep throat just before he fell ill. His son fought off the infection without any complications. Breen was not so fortunate.
A GoFundMe campaign has been created to help cover his medical costs. The GoFundMe campaign had a goal set at $75,000 and has already passed that goal raising over $80,000 in just 18 days.
Despite all he has gone through, Breen and his family remains optimistic. Breen’s wife, Julie says that her husband understands that from now on his life is going to be different, but that does not mean it must be bad. She added that from now on life will be what they make it and they must make it the best it can be for their children.
Julie is now supporting their family of five on a teacher’s salary. Julie and Kevin credit the staff at the Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and their prayers as well as the prayers of family and friends for getting them through reports WGN-TV.
Breen, who is now home, has had one foot amputated and still has three surgeries to go to amputate his other foot and both of his hands.
Doctors stress the importance of seeking medical attention if you believe that you may have Strep throat. If left untreated Strep can cause infections in the heart and in rare cases like Breen’s cause massive infections that result in dead tissue.
By Tammy Marie Rose
Photo Courtesy GoFundMe