On March 14, seventeen-year-old Olivia Kiger-Camilo of West Virginia was airlifted to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital in Morgantown.
The life-long dancer had first noticed some pain in her foot after a weekend of practices. But, she had no idea that the pain would turn into a near-fatal experience.
“As a dancer, as an athlete, you kind of just brush pain aside. I thought I maybe broke a toe,” Olivia said in an interview with WTRF.
But, within twenty-four hours, the teen’s condition drastically worsened. She spiked a dangerously high fever, her blood pressure plummeted into the forties, and her foot turned completely black and blue. And soon after admission to the ER, doctors realized she was septic.
Olivia was immediately rushed into emergency surgery, which resulted in a months-long recovery process.
It turns out the teen had contracted the extremely rare monomicrobial necrotizing fasciitis– a kind of flesh-eating bacteria.
Only a few thousand cases are reported in the U.S. each year, and it is very rare to see in healthy children.
Nonetheless, Olivia was forced to undergo numerous foot-cleaning surgeries to cut out the harmful bacteria. She also spent a lot of time in the ICU and on a ventilator, with her first hospital stay lasting nearly four weeks.
GoFundMe; pictured above is Olivia