Mom Sees DR for Flu. Days Later, in Critical Condition w/ Flesh-Eating Bacteria


Fatigue. Fever. A headache that goes on for days. All of these are just a few of the symptoms that plague the body when it has the flu.

However, the feeling of discomfort that comes with being diagnosed with the sickness is something most people worldwide experience at least once in their life to some degree. A flesh-eating bacteria on the other hand? Not so many.

Against all odds, a Phoenix-area mother was diagnosed with just that. And she realized that her nightmare was only just beginning.

Christin Lipinski was diagnosed with influenza earlier this month, suffering through what she thought was merely the flu. Days later, however, she found herself in the hospital, shrouded in pain.

Doctors and hospital staff worked quickly to discover what Lipinski was suffering from, which was more than just the flu. As it turned out, Lipinski was also diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis.

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According to USA Today, group A strep — more commonly known as the bacteria that causes strep throat — is a common cause of the skin disease. And the results, experts warn, could be devastating if not fatal.

“Within twelve hours Christin underwent two surgeries to remove the infected tissue in an effort to save her life,” her family wrote on a GoFundMe page they started to help cover costs of her procedures.

So far, the mother of three has had 30 percent of the skin along the left side of her body removed, all the way from her shoulder to her thigh.

“You can’t just go in and make a little incision,” said Dr. Kevin Foster, the director for the Arizona Burn Center. “And if you don’t get it the first time, often times you don’t have a second chance.”

The disease spreads by killing surrounding body tissue, usually causing swelling near the site of a wound, and can cause anything from ulcers to fevers and fatigue.

Experts say that once the bacteria enter the body, it quickly spreads, causing critical damage to nerves, muscles, and fat.

Though Lipinski is now recovering and doctors believe she will pull through, she has a long way to go in her recovery. The infection has left a permanent effect on her body.

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“She is currently in critical yet stable condition as she undergoes further surgeries,” her family added.

“We currently don’t know how long it will take for Christin to fully recover but she will most likely be hospitalized for several months before she can be safely discharged.”

Though Lipinski has a long journey ahead in the road to recovery, the family has been blessed by the generosity of strangers as their GoFundMe reached just over their goal of $20,000.

All the best to this family, and we hope they make a quick recovery! Though this is a rare complication and something most people won’t encounter in their lifetimes, it’s always good to be aware of what’s out there.

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ASU grad who loves all things reading and writing.
Becky is an ASU grad who uses her spare time to read, write and play with her dog, Tasha. Her interests include politics, religion, and all things science. Her work has been published with ASU's Normal Noise, Phoenix Sister Cities, and "Dramatica," a university-run publication in Romania.
Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing
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Politics, Science/Tech, Faith, History, Gender Equality