Mom Issues Warning To Parents After Influenza and Strep Led to Her Son’s Leg Amputation

Courtesy of Kaden Stevenson

A mother in Michigan urging other parents about the dangers associated with their children contracting strep or the flu. The conditions caused her son to lose both of his legs.

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Initial Signs

Kaden Stevenson, 7, had surgery on March 3 to have his legs removed. He first got sick before Christmas. Michele recounted the story on Good Morning America on Thursday.

Michele initially believed that her son may have caught a stomach bug or the common, but after a few days, his condition worsened.

“If your kid has any of those signs of fever, they complain of pain, you see any rashes, just take them to the emergency,” Michele shared with GMA. “Catch it early. That’s the biggest thing. And listen to your kids. They tell you they don’t feel good? Don’t just sweep it under the rug, assuming that it’s a little cold. Get it checked out.”

Mich noticed that her son was unable to do simple tasks like putting on his shoes and coat. “Something just felt off,” she said. This, and “the pain he kept talking about,” is when she began to suspect the flu.

“So I looked him over. His right leg was swollen,” she continued. “He had a rash all over his body. His eyes looked puffy to me, and it seemed like that all happened within a short period of time.”

She took him to the Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint. From there, he was transferred to a “pediatric orthopedic surgeon.” Michele didn’t realize how serious the situation was until she saw a helicopter arrive to transport her son.

More Details

Michele Stevenson and her son Kaden Stevenson. Image obtained by PEOPLE

“I didn’t hear about [strep] really until we got in the hospital and I heard about other kids at the same time had the same thing my son had,” Michelle shared. “One little boy didn’t make it. I’m hearing this family sad and crying and saying goodbye to their son, and my son’s here still fighting for his life. My heart goes out to that family.”

“[Kaden] said the other little boy that died,” she continued, “he was sad that he died, but he was going to live for him. He was going to be strong for the little boy. As a mother, as a parent, as a person in general, I don’t want anybody else to have to go through this. This has been horrifying.”

Michele’s son was diagnosed with the flu and strep A. The strep had made its way into the bloodstream, which led to toxic shock and the eventual loss of his legs. Kaden is now waiting to receive his prosthetics – or what he calls his “robot legs.”

“He always talks about [how] he misses the old times, and he misses when he could walk and how things used to be, but he said he’s kind of happy. He likes his new legs,” she told GMA.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.

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