Escondido teen survives rare case of botulism - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Escondido teen survives rare case of botulism

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A teenage girl who has recovered from a rare case of wound botulism after a 77-day stay at Rady Children's Hospital shared her story and experience on Thursday. 

The 14-year-old Escondido girl needed six surgeries and was partially paralyzed.

Rosie Lopez was the first case of wound botulism for Rady Children's Hospital chief of infectious disease, Dr. John Bradley. 

"Rosie herself, I have never seen a young lady so ill, who is so optimistic and so positive and interested in getting herself back on her feet," said Dr. Bradley. 

In January, Rosie was doing cartwheels in the park with her sisters when she broke her arm. A week later she was re-admitted in the intensive care unit. 

She could not speak, and was partially paralyzed. Three days later doctors said the protruding bone during the break attracted dirt in the park carrying the most potent toxin. 

Rosie was diagnosed with wound botulism. 

"It wasn't something I was scared of. It was painful but it wasn't frightening. I am very thankful for everyone who has helped me in this journey," she said. 

Rosie's neurologist said family support was paramount in the recovery. 

Doctors said Rosie is nearly fully recovered. She still has a tracheotomy, but the botulism is nearly gone. 

It will take two years to fully heal the broken bone, but it has not stopped Rosie from doing more cartwheels. 

Doctors said the CDC reported only two to three cases of wound botulism a year in the country. 

Health officials said although the botulism was found in the dirt at the park, there is no public health hazard because it can only survive in dead human tissue. 

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