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MSSA staph infection claims 3-year-old boy's legs during family vacation in San Diego

Posted at 6:10 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 19:54:34-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A staph infection led to the amputation of a 3-year-old boy's legs weeks after his family arrived in San Diego for a vacation.

The Baumkirschners and some friends arrived in their RVs from Arizona in early October and immediately set up camp along Mission Bay.

3-year-old Beauden and his two older sisters were part of a group that went for a ride on their bikes.

"He fell off his bike and scratched his knee. We put on antibacterial spray with a band-aid, and off we went," said his father Brian Baumkirschner.

Baumkirschner says Beauden spent the next few hours riding bikes, running around, and at one point, playing in the dirt. Early in the evening, Beauden told him he wasn't feeling well.

"He said, 'My tummy hurts. Is it bedtime?'" said Baumkirschner.

The next morning, Beauden woke up with a fever and eventually started favoring his right leg, where he had a scrape just under his knee. When he became lethargic the next day, his parents rushed him to urgent care, and then Rady Children's Hospital. Brian says his son's right knee was swelling up and turned purple.

"It started spreading up, his legs, down his leg, in his arms, and down to this hands," said Baumkirschner.

Baumkirschner says doctors eventually diagnosed Beauden with a MSSA staph infection. Another type of staph infection, MRSA, is more associated with bacteria in the bloodstream.

"They kept telling us that there was swelling. All of his extremities are shutting down," said Baumkirschner.

Beauden had developed a complication: toxic shock syndrome. His little body started to shut down. Beauden developed sepsis. His kidneys started to fail.

"It's been every parent’s worst nightmare. You can’t do anything. You’re helpless," said Baumkirschner.

There were several leg surgeries to relieve the pressure. Baumkirschner says there were some harrowing days, but his son pulled through. On Monday, doctors had to amputate his legs below the knee.

Baumkirschner says he's just grateful is son is alive. He's optimistic Beauden's arms and hands can be saved.

Baumkirschner says doctors at Rady Children's Hospital told him similar serious staph infections are rare, and they only a see a few cases every year.

Doctors also couldn't pinpoint exactly when or where Beauden contracted the staph bacteria.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help with the family with expenses.