Local boy survives bout with MRSA infection

Posted at 5:03 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 20:34:24-04

A National City boy is recovering after surviving a lengthy bout with a superbug that hijacked his body and sent him to the hospital.

Ronan Mendez, 11, said the ordeal began as pain in the bottom of his foot.

"It was like a hammer was smacking the bottom of my foot," he said.

Several weeks ago, Ronan came home early from school, and his mom, Glenda Reilly, took him to the hospital. Doctors thought it was a sprain, and Ronan was given a walking boot.

Later that night, he came down with a 103-degree fever, a high pulse and low blood pressure.

Reilly brought him back to the hospital, and she said, "They couldn't stabilize him, so that's when they transferred him to Rady [Children's Hospital]."

Doctors there ultimately found that Ronan was infected with MRSA, bacteria resistant to many antibiotics. It spread to his heart and lungs.

"I can talk about it now because I think he was safe, but for a week I didn't think he was going to make it," Reilly said.

Ronan had multiple surgeries and spent two and a half weeks in the hospital. He doesn't have much memory of it.

He and his mom said they think the MRSA got into his body through an ingrown toenail, though doctors couldn't confirm it.

"The toenail pierced a part of the skin that gave an open cut and it let the germs in," Ronan said.

He came home on Monday, but is now on blood thinners to relieve clots and also needs antibiotics to get rid of the rest of the MRSA. He's still got several weeks before he can go back to school.

"Yeah, I miss a lot of things," Ronan said.

Reilly is taking time off from work and school to care for her son. A GoFundMe page has been set up for those wanting to assist with expenses.