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Flesh-eating bacteria leaves baby 'an hour away from death'

Nine-month-old Mason Perry laughs with his mum Lauren from Urangan after recovering from necrotising fasciitis.
Nine-month-old Mason Perry laughs with his mum Lauren from Urangan after recovering from necrotising fasciitis. Alistair Brightman

A HERVEY Bay baby has made a miracle recovery after his tiny body was attacked by flesh-eating bacteria, leaving him "an hour away from death".

Urangan mother Lauren Perry was told by doctors to "prepare her goodbyes" when eight-month-old Mason was struck down with deadly necrotising fasciitis.

The bacteria spread from baby Mason's bowels throughout his body after routine surgery in the Lady Cilento Hospital in February.

Twins Chloe and Mason have spent a lot of their lives in hospital.
Twins Chloe and Mason have spent a lot of their lives in hospital. Alistair Brightman

It was the simple, routine procedure of removing the bag which caused Mason's gut to perforate and spread the deadly bacteria throughout his abdomen and chest.

According to the Queensland Health guidelines for public health units, necrotising fasciitis can begin at the site of a minor cut, lesion or in an operative incision and mortality rates are high - 20 to 70 per cent even with appropriate treatment.

After the doctors noticed something was wrong as Mason was developing a rash and was running a high temperature, they ordered an x-ray and discovered there was something very wrong happening in Mason's abdomen.

The doctors rushed him into a follow-up surgery to figure out what was happening.

His brave mother Lauren said he went from being a relatively healthy boy to verging on death in 12 hours.

"The scariest bit was waiting for him to come out of the surgery which was supposed to take an hour ... it took four," Ms Perry said.

"My husband and I just sat there waiting for the doctor to come out of that room and tell us he was gone - they had already told us to prepare our goodbyes."

It was a close call for little Mason; the doctors told his parents had they waited another hour to do the surgery, he would have died.

The doctors told Lauren and Mason's father Mitchell it would have taken two to three days to figure out which exact bacteria was attacking Mason, and that he did not have that long to wait, so they put him on a variety of antibiotics at once.

Thankfully the antibiotics began to work and Mason started to recover, but Ms Perry said his fight was not over.

Eight-month-old Mason spent almost three weeks in hospital from February 25 after being infected by a flesh-eating bacteria.
Eight-month-old Mason spent almost three weeks in hospital from February 25 after being infected by a flesh-eating bacteria. Lauren Perry

"He spent a long time with his wound wide open, but the hospital did an amazing job.

"Mitch and I have been in Brisbane for the most part of the past 12 months; we both left our jobs and lives behind because we wanted nothing more than to be parents."

Topics:  baby, editors picks, hervey bay, mum, urangan



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