PILOT ROCK, Ore. – An 8-year-old boy died from a flesh-eating bacteria he contracted after falling off his bike in front of his home.
Liam Flanagan died Sunday in an Oregon hospital, eight days after he fell off the bike.
Flanagan's mother, Sara Hebard, told KPTV that Liam originally suffered a thigh injury after the fall and was stitched up by doctors at a nearby emergency room.
When Liam began complaining of more pain and his wound turned a purplish-red color, he was taken back to the hospital where he was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a bacteria that attacks soft tissue. The second grader's wound was most likely infected by bacteria in the dirt when he crashed.
Flanagan underwent emergency surgery, and was airlifted to a Portland hospital for more surgeries.
Doctors found the flesh-eating bacteria had spread from Liam's ankle to his armpit, and attempted to cut it from the muscle and tissue.
But the bacteria could not be contained and Liam died on Jan. 21.
“I would have to say for one, hug your children tight because you never know how quickly it goes, and then to pay attention to them and don't just take for granted it could just be a simple accident,” Hebard told KPTV. “And to spread awareness because people don't know. I had never even heard of this before.”