Tennessee Girl, 13, Has Both Legs Amputated After Catching Rare Bacterial Infection: 'Her Heart Stopped'

“They said that parts of her muscles and tissues were dead and it was very important to remove those so it would not damage her body further,” her family said

<p>gofundme</p> Anita Navas


Anita Navas

A teenager from Tennessee who was hospitalized had to have both legs amputated due to a rare bacterial infection.

The family of Anita Navas, 13, wrote in a recent Facebook post that she had been hospitalized a day after Christmas when several limbs, including her foot, elbow and wrist began to show signs of redness and irritation, and she was experiencing fatigue and dizziness.

Doctors later determined that she had strep group A and flu type B, her family told local news station WTVC.

Navas needed additional care and was transferred to another hospital, where she “flatlined” immediately after arriving, according to her family’s Facebook post.

“Her heart stopped. Her blood pressure bottomed out. Immediately, medical professionals intubated her so she could breathe,” her family wrote in their post.

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Navas' family said it only got worse from there, as she had to be placed in a medically induced coma because her body had gone into “septic shock” and was “fighting itself.”

The family noted in their social media post that “the bacteria from the septic shock took over her body quickly, and her limbs began to fail.”

To help stabilize her, doctors gave her blood pressure medication, though it had negative effects as it made her limbs take on excess fluid. Doctors then made incisions to her right arm, left arm, left leg and two incisions on both feet, but for some of her limbs, the family said it had “been too late.”

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“They said that parts of her muscles and tissues were dead and it was very important to remove those so it would not damage her body further,” Navas' family wrote.

Last week, doctors amputated Navas' legs just below her knees to help increase her chances of survival. Although doctors were able to save both of her arms, she lost around one-third of her muscles and tissues. The family told WTVC that the teen had been in the hospital for two weeks and they expect that she will remain there for the next six months. 

In an update Tuesday, the family said, "All of the skin on her extremities has been destroyed by the infection. Her kidneys are still not functioning, and she is on intermittent dialysis to try and jump-start her kidney as well as filter her blood."

"She is in a better position than before. However, she needs to get her skin graphs ASAP. She does not have enough viable skin on her body to do this," they said. "The only option we have is to go through skin cell growth therapy."

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Navas still remains in a medically induced coma but her family has now found two hospitals that offer skin cell growth therapy. They have created a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising money toward her lengthy recovery journey.

"We appreciate everyone's continuous prayers and support. We have a long way to go, but you all give us the hope and drive that we need," the family said.

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