Chula Vista teen fighting flesh-eating bacteria - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chula Vista teen fighting flesh-eating bacteria

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CHULA VISTA (CBS 8) - A few weeks ago 14-year-old Giancarlo Gil's biggest worry in the world was school and sports but after suffering an injury to his leg playing sports, something didn't seem right. His leg became swollen, painful ... and it got worse.

Jesse Ortega, a family friend, took him to the emergency room and it was determined he had some kind of flesh eating bacteria after several tests. Within minutes, surgeons had Giancarlo in the operating room.

Doctor John Bradley, the Director of Infectious Diseases at Rady Children's Hospital says Giancarlo's illness was caused by a bacteria called Group A Strep -  a very rare strain of it.

He says it seems the game he loved gave it a gateway to his body. "He had one of these bacteria he got probably in his nose or throat. Had the injury from football practice and in the area where there was a bruise in the muscle. It's likely the bacteria that got into his blood stream settled in this injured area and the bacteria began to grow."

To remove it doctors had to amputate Giancarlo's right leg up to his thigh. He has had five surgeries, with another planned for Thursday.

Ortega states, "We're all just in shock. It's been difficult to comprehend how quickly and how suddenly this came about."

Doctors think they have it under control but now friends and family are trying to cope.

Ortega adds, "It's very difficult because Giancarlo is still not aware. He's been under sedation all this time due to the pain."

Something that will no doubt be tough to understand for a boy, who's only worries at this age should be school and sports.

Ortega, fighting back tears says, "This kid is amazing. Just a good kid....he's a very good kid."

A GoFundMe page for Giancarlo has has been set up to help him and his family with medical expenses. It has generated more than 170 donations in three days.

The family is also asking for donations to the San Diego Blood Bank in Giancarlo's name.
 

This is a CBS News 8 story update. The previous story is below.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A GoFundMe page set up for a South Bay teenager suffering from flesh-eating bacteria raised more than $8,000 as of Wednesday.

Giancarlo Gil, 14, has undergone six surgeries at Rady Children's Hospital since falling ill 10 days ago, according to family friend Jesse Ortega, who spoke to multiple San Diego news outlets.

Ortega said Giancarlo's right leg was amputated below the knee last week in order to prevent the spread of the bacteria. Last night, the remainder of the leg was removed up to the teen's hip, he said.

Chuy Ortega Reyna, the creator of the fundraising page - https://www.gofundme.com/r652cfec - said the teen is a freshman at Chula Vista High School, where he played football and baseball.

"The road to recovery will not be an easy one physically, emotionally and financially," Reyna wrote on the page. "His parents have taken time off of their jobs to be close to their son, but as we all know, the bills of everyday living do not stop. There will also be upcoming medical expenses that will need to be covered, including prosthetics."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body's soft tissue. Accurate diagnosis, prompt treatment with intravenously administered antibiotics and surgery are important to stopping the infection, which can become life-threatening in a very short amount of time.

The CDC said the occurrence of the disease is rare, even though it can be caused by several types of bacteria. Healthy people with strong immune systems can usually avoid the disease by practicing good hygiene and proper wound care.

The GoFundMe page for Giancarlo has generated more than 170 donations in three days.

The family is also asking for donations to the San Diego Blood Bank in Giancarlo's name.

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