Strep throat leads to amputation of MI man's hands and feet

Kevin Breen rests in a chair at his home in Alto

Kevin Breen rests in a chair at his home in Alto

After losing all movement in his hands and feet, Breen must undergo at least four amputation surgeries to remove his entire left hand and multiple fingers of his right hand.

Breen's organs started to fail as doctors worked to diagnose his condition.

Dr. Elizabeth Steensma, an acute care surgeon at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, described him to WOOD-TV as "one of the sickest patients I have ever taken care of".

Breen is now finally recovering at home with his wife Julie and their three children - Lilly, 14, Bella, 4, and three-year-old Blake.

A MI man lost his left hand, multiple fingers on the right hand and both of his feet after contracting strep, according to WWJ in Detroit. At one point, his wife was told to gather the family and prepare for the worst. That initial diagnosis was due to Breen's symptoms as his stomach began to grow and harden.

"He was very susceptible to it", Dr. Steensma said.

Kevin Breen rests in a chair at his home in Alto.

The report also noted there have only been 32 cases of strep throat travelling to the stomach, with only two of those cases, including Breen's, involving men.

"I never thought (I'd be) going in for a stomachache and coming out a totally different person and (it's) life-changing", said Breen.

A test was positive and Breen was treated with penicillin, which fought back the infection.

The rare case nearly cost Breen his life. Breen is one of two men in the world who had strep travel from his throat to stomach, according to Steensma.

Breen's family says that while his spirits remain high, the family is facing steep health care bills and financial instability, because Breen was the primary breadwinner.

Breen is still managing to smile, WOOD-TV found, even with these monumental difficulties. 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. "But different doesn't necessarily have to be bad". His first amputation is scheduled for today. "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. Dad's going to have cool hands, Dad's going to have cool feet. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with hospital costs. "We have to be positive".

"The biggest thing to learn from this is, if you aren't feeling well, go be seen. God Bless!" Marti Bowen wrote with her Go Fund Me donation.

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