California father calls daughter a 'fighter' after teen loses limbs to meningitis

These images, obtained by Fox affiliate KTTV, show 18-year-old Kaitlyn Dobrow.

These images, obtained by Fox affiliate KTTV, show 18-year-old Kaitlyn Dobrow.

A California family is raising money to care for their 18-year-old daughter whose four limbs were amputated after the teen became infected with a deadly form of meningitis.

Kaitlin Dobrow, of Orange County, Calif., was hospitalized last month after she woke up one morning with a severe headache and flu-life symptoms. Doctors at UC Irvine Medical Center quickly determined that Dobrow had a meningococcal infection, and the teenager has since undergone several life-saving surgeries, Fox affiliate KTTV reported.

Dobrow lost her arms and legs to the infection and suffered several skin wounds that are being treated in the hospital's burn unit. 

"She contracted an infection with an organism known as meningococcemia -- one that is a common organism in the community but on occasion can infect not only the blood but also the spinal fluid and cause a very severe infection -- what we call septicaemia -- in about five percent of the cases of people that get this infection," Dr. Nicole Bernal, the burn surgeon treating Dobrow, told KTTV.

"The spread throughout the body can be very fast," Bernal said of the infection. "It goes from having regular flu-life symptoms for two days, but then can progress on to being extremely sick with low blood pressure and a severe rash in a matter of five to seven days.

Dobrow's family, meanwhile, has established a website to raise funds for the teenager's recovery. 

"As long as she's gone through this from day one, she's been a fighter," her father, Don Dobrow, told the station. "She's been very strong. She expects to kick this however she can and move on with her life. 

"She feels that God has a purpose for her and she's up to the challenge," he said.

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