A South Carolina mom is in critical but stable condition after her husband said she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis after giving birth to their son and daughter.
Lana Kuykendall was home with her newborn twins just thirteen hours when her husband rushed her back to the hospital. The couple initially thought she was suffering from a blood clot, because the wound she developed was on her leg. The spot grew very painful and started becoming larger.
"She) just kept getting worse in front of your eyes. She would just get worse and worse and worse. Every minute it was like she was going down," said friend Kayla Moon. "She was never really able to hold (her babies) and enjoy it."
When she was admitted to the hospital, doctors diagnosed a case of flesh-eating bacteria and Kuykendall went into surgery. She is said to have come through the procedure well, though she remains in critical condition and is on a ventilator.
"Right now, just very worried, very upset. Still in disbelief that here is my friend, who just had these two beautiful babies, and now she is intubated upstairs, and not able to enjoy the bonding experience, and enjoy the babies," said Krissy Davidson, another friend of Kuykendall’s. "We're just asking people to pray for her, and lift her up at this point."
Kuykendall’s case comes on the heels of another startling case of necrotizing fasciitis – that of 24-year-old Aimee Copeland. In that instance, the young psychology grad student fell off a zip line and slashed her leg, which became infected with Aeromonas hydrophila, bacteria which live in warm, brackish water. It is unclear as of this writing which bacteria is responsible for the new mom’s infection, but infections can come from one’s own body – livning on the surface of the skin or in one’s throat – and still cause the life-threatening condition if they have a chance to burrow into tissue as a result of injury, even minor scratch.
The risk for contracting necrotizing fasciitis increases when a person’s immune system is compromised, as can be the case in HIV infection or drug abuse. In Aimee Copeland’s case, it was revealed that she was recently diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease.
Pregnancy also affects the immune response. Pregnant women’s bodies have a lowered immune response in order to protect the baby from an attack by the mother’s antibodies.