Girl, 4, left fighting for her life after suspected Strep A turned into flesh-eating disease

A four-year-old girl almost died after her suspected Strep A infection turned into a flesh-eating bug. 

New pictures show Reign Passey, from Dudley in the West Midlands, in her hospital bed as she battled the extremely rare infection.

Reign spent three weeks in hospital after suspected Strep A bacteria triggered necrotising fasciitis - a rare disease that can occur after a wound is infected that can result in death.

She underwent a four-hour operation to remove dead tissue to prevent the infection from spreading further which resulted in a large scar, according to MailOnline.

Reign's mother Leanne said she had to argue with doctors just to get an examination during her daughter's illness.

"It's horrendous, you never expect it to happen to you until it does," the 31-year-old said.

"I just want people to understand that it's so serious."

It is believed the infection may have entered Reign's body through a chickenpox sore.

Three days after contracting chickenpox last July, Ms Passey noticed her daughter was fatigued, had a temperature and a red ring around one of the sores.

A GP advised that Reign go to A&E immediately.

But medics at Russells Hall Hospital told Ms Passey to go home because Reign's chickenpox was highly contagious and they had no beds available.

"By this point the red ring had almost tripled in size," Ms Passey said.

"They were adamant they were too busy, she was too contagious and I needed to take her home.

"I said the only way I was leaving was if they kicked me out - she was deteriorating by the second."

The mother and daughter eventually went to a second hospital, Birmingham Children's Hospital.

But they were told to wait outside to avoid infecting others with chickenpox.

"We got to the hospital at 9.30pm - we sat there until 3.30am," Ms Passey said.

"Between those times, her temperature had gone up to almost 42C, she was hallucinating and talking to me.

"She'd gone past the point of screaming and was lying there almost lifeless."

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After an 11-hour wait at the hospital, Reign was finally seen by doctors and rushed to have emergency surgery.

As well as cutting away a large amount of dead tissue, surgeons had to keep the wound open for cleaning and examination to ensure every trace of the bacteria had been removed.

Reign was put into an induced coma for the pain and breathing support. But then the young girl contracted sepsis and after recovering was sent to the hospital's burns unit for skin grafts for the wound.

A spokesperson for Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, which manages Birmingham Children's Hospital, defended its decision to make Reign and her mother sit outside but told MailOnline they hoped she was recovering well.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Malling Health, which operates the Dudley Urgent Care Centre at the Russells Hall Hospital said they were "sorry to hear" about Reign's experience but could not comment on specific cases due to patient confidentiality.