Calif. family fights flesh-eating bacteria

Mom, newborn infected shortly after delivery

EL CAJON, Calif. - An El Cajon, California, mother and her newborn son came down with a rare flesh-eating bacteria just days after she gave birth, friends said.

Bree and Brandon Drips just welcomed their third child, baby Hunter.

"On the 25th of November they had hunter and a couple days later she was discharged from the hospital," friend Nick Ordway said.

Ordway said Bree Drips began having a terrible pain in her calf, which only got worse. They then went to the emergency room, but doctors could not find the cause of the pain and released her.

The next day, the pain was worse said Ordway. This time when Bree Drips went to the ER, doctors admitted her to the hospital.

"They realized, most likely, that it was Necrotizing Fasciitis," Ordway said.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare and aggressive flesh-eating bacteria.

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An estimated between 25 and 35% of people who get it will die, even after aggressive medical treatment.

"I believe she's had a total of three surgeries so far," Ordway said.

Soon, baby Hunter started showing similar symptoms. He's now in a neonatal intensive care unit where he is expected to fully recover.

Ironically, both Bree and her husband are in the business of saving lives. Bree Drips is a newly registered nurse and her husband Brandon is an engineer firefighter in La Mesa.

"The reaction throughout the firehouse was they couldn't believe this was happening," said Captain Sonny Saghera, with Heartland Fire and Rescue.

Though he did not want to go on camera, Brandon Drips told 10News via phone interview that his wife is awake, but not out of the woods yet. He also confirmed that baby Hunter is going to recover and should be released from the NICU soon.

"I have a feeling there's a long road ahead of her, so that's why everyone is really trying to do as much as they can," Saghera said.

Firefighters and friends set up this Gofundme.com account for the family.

In addition, Ordway's "Crossfit H2" gym is holding a workout fundraiser for the Drips family on Saturday, December 17 from 8 a.m. to noon, with a $10 drop-in donation. The gym is located at 14401 Bond Ct. in El Cajon. For questions call Nick at (619) 922-0190.

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