Local infant battling flesh-eating bacteria
by Jennifer Cohron
Nov 11, 2012 | 8633 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Korbin Kennedy, 5 weeks old, of Empire has been in the hospital since he was 6 days old. Photo special to the Eagle
Korbin Kennedy, 5 weeks old, of Empire has been in the hospital since he was 6 days old. Photo special to the Eagle
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An emergency room visit turned into a nightmare for Jimbo and Jade Kennedy of Empire when their newborn son was diagnosed with an infection known as flesh-eating bacteria.

Korbin Kennedy, who has been in the hospital since he was six days old, was born healthy in early October.

Four days after arriving home, he began running a fever of 100.4 degrees. The Kennedys decided to ere on the side of caution and took him to the emergency room to have him checked.

“We found out that there was a staph infection and then it just developed into this,” Jade Kennedy said of the official diagnosis, necrotizing fasciitis.

The bacteria involved in necrotizing fasciitis can also cause mild infections such as strep throat.

However, in rare cases, the bacteria produce toxins that begin to destroy skin, fat and tissue.

The disease can result in the loss of limbs and death in children and adults alike.

Jade Kennedy said doctors determined that Korbin contracted flesh-eating bacteria as the result of a lumbar puncture, more commonly known as a spinal tap, performed at the hospital.

“He developed a staph infection in that lumbar puncture. Then that developed into necrotizing fasciitis,” she said.

Korbin has endured multiple surgeries as well as painful wound VAC changes that are necessary to stimulate tissue growth.

Before Korbin turned a month old, more than 50 percent of his back and part of his buttocks had been removed in an attempt to save his life.

“No antibiotic fixes it. They have to go in and do surgery to remove all of the infected tissue or it continues to spread,” Jimbo Kennedy said.

On Friday, Korbin was transferred from Children’s Hospital in Birmingham to Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati for further treatment. He is expected to remain there for several months.

The Kennedys said that they are thankful for the support they have received from family, friends and area church members during this trying time.

“If it wasn’t for their prayers, this baby would not be here today. When we hit rock bottom, the power of prayer took over,” Jade Kennedy said.

Korbin’s grandparents are Deborah and Steve Dawkins and Alan and Kim Kennedy.