Florida community mourns loss of boy who died of flesh eating bacteria

Central Florida community mourns boy who died from flesh-eating bacteria (Copyright 2023 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A Central Florida community is mourning the loss of an 11-year-old boy who died of a flesh-eating bacteria.

Megan Brown said her little cousin Jesse was such a special boy.

“Jesse was the coolest kid. Hilarious. A really tough kid,” said Brown.

At Jesse’s parent’s house, his family had a table area filled with pictures of him, along with things that tell the story of his life.

Brown said Jesse had an accident on the treadmill and sprained his ankle. what the family thought was a minor injury, days later proved to be something very different.

“His leg was covered in a reddish purple splotchiness and that was the first sign of the Strep A,” said Brown.

Brown said Jesse ended up with a flesh-eating bacteria.

“It festered in his ankle because that is the weak spot from where he sprained his ankle. Then it just continued throughout his body once it got into his bloodstream. His organs started shutting down,” said Brown.

Brown said the sudden loss of her cousin has impacted their family in a way none of them could have ever imagined.

A memorial sits in front of his house with items being placed there by his friends and neighbors. The community also came together on Friday to honor him in a memorial ceremony.

Meantime, a pediatrician reacts to the severity of the bacteria that ended the young boy’s life.

“There is no relationship between getting strep throat and the invasive type of bacteria that goes into this body and can cause infections of the bone, joints or in this case the flesh-eating bacteria,” said Dr. Salma Elfaki, Pediatrican and Owner of Nona Pediatric Center.

Orange County Public schools has started a memorial fund in Jesse’s name. The school district said Jesee was such a sweet kid and was in the safety patrol program.

One of jesse’s favorite things to do was raise the flag on the flagpole, so his school folded up one of the flags he raised and gave it to his family in his honor.

About the Author:

Eden Checkol co-anchors Local 10's 10 p.m. weeknight newscast on WSFL and also reports on WPLG newscasts. She’s a Minnesota native who is thrilled to leave the snow behind and call South Florida home.