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Girl who died after doctors cut away 17% of her body had ‘flesh-eating disease’ spreading through her body

Girl who died after doctors cut away 17% of her body had ‘flesh-eating disease’ spreading through her body

Vivienne Murphy was just 10 years old when she lost her life to the rare condition

A young girl has died after contracting a deadly ‘flesh-eating disease’, which rapidly spread throughout her body.

Vivienne Murphy was just 10-years-old when she contracted Strep A with doctors cutting away 17 per cent of her body in a desperate bid to save her.

Having lost their young daughter, her parents are hoping that her story will serve as a warning to others.

Vivienne passed away just two weeks after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria.
Family handout

Like many kids, Vivienne was at school when she first complained of feeling poorly.

Thinking nothing of it, her dad, Dermot Murphy, picked her up on Valentine’s Day and she began to develop a sore throat.

As her condition worsened over the next five days, the 10-year-old developed a rash, and her parents took her to three GPs desperate for answers.

Fed up with being dismissed, the concerned parents took her to Cork University Hospital with the schoolgirl now suffering from swelling in her right leg.

Tragically, it was then that Irish medics then spotted a small black mark on Vivienne and rapidly ordered blood tests.

According to Dermot, ‘all hell broke loose’ with the young girl being diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis - a bacterial infection known as the ‘flesh-eating disease’.

It had spread so quickly, that Vivienne also had sepsis, and her body was going into shock.

Eager to save her, doctors rushed the family to Temple Street, Dublin, for an emergency amputation.

Though surgeons had only set out to remove her leg, her condition was so severe that they had to cut away 17 per cent of her body.

Surgeons attempt to save the young girl's life. Credit Pexels
Surgeons attempt to save the young girl's life. Credit Pexels

It is a figure that her dad can’t shake.

Recalling the heart-breaking conversation with her surgeon, he explained. “The words he told us were shocking…He said ‘I think I have stopped the disease from spreading, but I had to cut away 17 per cent of your daughter’s body’. Seventeen per cent is burned into my brain.”

This was because the infection had spread across the schoolgirl’s body, presenting on her buttocks and both her legs.

Her exhausted body struggled to recover though, with Vivienne suffering from a cardiac arrest that resulted in brain damage.

Just two weeks after being sent home from school, her parents made the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support.

Her death in 2019 has spurred the parents to warn others about the dangers of Strep A.

Lily and Dermot Murphy told press: “Our daughter started off with signs and symptoms and within ten days she was gone. We are just begging and pleading that parents look out for these things, don’t be submissive, and don’t ever think that you are being an overreacting parent, because you are not.”

Featured Image Credit: Family handout/ wutwhanfoto/Getty

Topics: Health, Parenting, Ireland