10-year-old girl tragically dies after having 17% of body cut away

The parents of a 10-year-old girl who tragically passed away have spoken out about the details leading up to their daughter’s death in the hopes that it will help save other children.

Vivienne Murphy, from Ireland, died in March 2019, just shortly after complaining about a sore throat.

Appearing on Radio One’s This Week show, Vivienne’s parents Lilly and Dermot said that she started to feel under the weather around Valentine’s Day, developing a rash and high temperature.

Within a few days, her condition deteriorated to the point where the little girl had to be hospitalized.

After initially being treated at Cork University Hospital, she was transferred to Temple Street in Dublin in order to get to the bottom of the cause.

Doctors first believed that what Vivienne had was some sort of viral infection, but after she failed to respond to any medication and her condition only got worse, her parents decided that it must be something else.

“We said it can’t be, there must be something else, it’s been going on for days,” said Lilly.

“We realized she was still getting worse, and the rash was really angry looking. By the evening she had pain and we noticed that her right leg started swelling at the knee,” added Dermot. “We were panicking now, and spoke to the doctor we had spoken to originally and told her our child was getting worse, not better.”

“We were told this could still be a flu virus, and we explained about the knee, and said the child couldn’t stand at all,” the father said.

A black mark on Vivienne’s leg also shocked medical staff at both facilities, and after running a series of tests, a nurse told the Murphys that their daughter “is critically ill” finally confirming that she had contracted Strep A.

“The doctor marked it with a skin marker, but we could see it was growing outside the mark,” Dermot recalled.

“We [were told] at that stage the black mark meant that Vivienne had sepsis and was going into shock,” said Lilly.

As per the Mirror, the mark indicated the presence of a disease called necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly through the body, which can cause death.

It is sometimes referred to as the “flesh-eating disease.”

The diagnosis was followed by an operation at Temple Street hospital, which “took hours.”

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The 10-year-old was taken to Temple Street Children’s University Hospital. Credit: KarlMPhotography / Alamy

“She said ‘thank you, nurse, I’m sorry for crying. I know you’re only trying to help me’,” said Dermot of their daughter before she was made unconscious.”That was the dignity she had. They were her last words on this planet. She had so much empathy. The world is a sadder place without her.”

After the surgery, a doctor came to update the parents but the words he told them were “shocking.”

“He said I think I have stopped the disease from spreading, but I had to cut away 17% of your daughter’s body,” the dad recalled. “When I heard 17%… I thought when we were in Cork we would probably have got away with 1%, the black mark, cut it out there.”

“The disease had gone where we thought it would go, it had gone up her leg, onto her buttocks, across her abdomen, and it had slowly started creeping down her left leg,” he added.

However, Vivienne went into cardiac arrest shortly after.

“We ran into the room. There were six or seven nurses there, doctors, professors. The head professor was there, and they were trying to bring her back, and they’re pumping and pushing and trying hard to save Vivienne and he was really going hard,” Dermot said.

“At one stage he turned to Lilly and me, and said: ‘Parents scream at your daughter, call her back! Call her back! Bring her back! And Lilly started screaming, please come back to us, please come back to us, and it went back a long time, and he said ‘call her – she will know your voice,'” he continued to recall. “And she did come back to us. And we thought wow – we have her.”

But the cardiac arrest had caused major damage to the 10-year-old and she was later pronounced dead.

After the horrifying ordeal of watching their daughter fight for her life, the Murphys had some advice for other parents.

“If your child has a fever, or a rash, be vigilant, these things can change so quickly. Our daughter started off with signs and symptoms and within ten days she was gone,” they said. “We are just begging and pleading that parents look out for these things, don’t be submissive, and don’t ever think that you are being an overreacting parent, because you are not.”

Rest in peace to little Vivienne. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family for having to endure such a grave loss.

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