A Michigan father whose seemingly ordinary stomach pains turned out to be an extremely rare case of strep throat is now facing a series of procedures to amputate his hands and feet. Kevin Breen, 44, first landed in the emergency room in December for what doctors mistook as acute mild pancreatitis, WOOD-TV reported.
“It didn’t seem that unusual,” Breen told WOOD-TV. “I never thought [I’d be] going in for a stomachache and coming out a totally different person, and [it’s] life-changing.”
Although his son had been diagnosed with strep recently, a blood test came back negative for any infection. A subsequent CT scan revealed that his stomach was filled with pus, and then his organs began shutting down, WOOD-TV reported.
“He was one of the sickest patients that we’ve ever taken care of,” Dr. Elizabeth Steensma, an acute care surgeon at Spectrum Health Butterworth, told WOOD-TV. “It was almost a mystery.”
Doctors redirected blood flow to save his organs, which cut off blood supply to his hands and feet. Eventually, a rash indicating a possible strep infection appeared on his torso, but by the time a test was conducted on his stomach and penicillin was administered, it was too late for his hands and feet.
Steensma told the news outlet it’s extremely rare for a strep infection to travel from the throat to a patient’s stomach, and that Keen is only the second documented case involving a male.
An update on the family’s GoFundMe page posted on Thursday indicated Breen was released from the hospital and is recovering from his first surgery, which removed his right food.
“Life is forever going to be different,” Julie, Breen’s wife, told WOOD-TV, suggesting her husband would eventually receive prosthetic limbs. “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. Dad’s going to have cool hands, Dad’s going to have cool feet. We want to be positive