Michigan Man's Hands and Feet to be Amputated After Rare Strep Throat

Jane Richards
March 16, 2017

A father of three has become a quadruple amputee after an extremely rare case of strep throat nearly killed him.

Although Breen's son had had strep and fought it off, Steensma didn't think this was the same type of infection.

"He was one of the sickest patients that we've ever taken care of", said acute care surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Steensma of Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, adding they were extremely anxious when Breen became quite tenuous.

The strep had traveled from his throat to his stomach, and his body couldn't fight it.

"It's insane. I never thought [I'd be] going in for a stomachache and coming out a totally different person and [it's] life-changing". A subsequent CT scan revealed that his stomach was filled with pus, and then his organs began shutting down, WOOD-TV reported.

Breen's hands and feet are completely black now, and he will begin the process to have them amputated today.

His organs started to fail, so doctors redirected blood flow in his body, leaving the flesh on his feet and hands to die, according to the news station.

"That moment was terrifying".

But soon, doctors would discover what would become the key to his diagnosis - a rash on Breen's upper torso.

After initial problems in diagnosing the source of Mr. Breen's complaints, doctors discovered he had contracted strep throat, a usually non-life-threatening throat infection.

Still not knowing the cause of Breen's ailment, doctors made a decision to run a test on him after discovering a rash on his stomach. As scary as it is, there's reportedly only been 32 cases of strep throat traveling to the stomach, with only two of those cases, including Kevin's, involving men.

Doctors at Spectrum Health are now studying Breen's case.

Breen is now finally recovering at home and trying to adapt.

Breen is back home but the infection has taken its toll.

Breen was the breadwinner for his family.

"Life's going to forever be different", said Breen's wife, Julie.

Throughout this whole ordeal, Breen has continued to smile. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with hospital costs. "But different doesn't necessarily have to be bad. It's just going to be what we make it, and we just have to figure it out, figure it out for our kids", Julie Breen said. He will need to undergo a complete amputation of his left hand and have multiple fingers on his right hand amputated. His demeanor, while incredulous, is anything but bitter - Breen has been remarkably positive throughout the experience and is "an inspiration" to those around him, reads his GoFundMe page. "We have to be positive".

As WOOD reports, despite being scheduled for his first amputation in March, Kevin hasn't stopped smiling. "If you are still having symptoms, go be evaluated", she said.

Other reports by VgToday

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