Mom issues a warning after her son’s legs were amputated due to strep and influenza A infections.

After her son developed strep A and influenza A infections in late December and required a double amputation earlier this month, a Michigan mother is warning other parents to pay attention to their children and take action if they appear ill.

Michele Stevenson of Grand Blanc, Michigan, told “Good Morning America” that her son Kaden, 7, became ill just before Christmas but that she didn’t think it was anything serious. He told her he was tired, and she assumed he had a stomach bug or a cold and let him rest. But, after four days, Kaden didn’t seem to be getting better; instead, he seemed to be getting worse.

“I’m thinking maybe he might have the flu just because of the pain he kept talking about. So I’m thinking it might be just body aches or something like that. But by the time I got to him, I couldn’t put his shoes on, I couldn’t put his coat on, he was in that much pain,” Stevenson recalled.

“Something just felt off,” the mom of one said. “So I looked him over. His right leg was swollen. He had a rash all over his body. His eyes look puffy to me and it seemed like that all happened within a short period of time.”

Stevenson stated that she took Kaden to Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, but doctors soon informed her that Kaden needed to be transferred for higher-level care.

“The ER doctor sat down in front of me and gave me the most serious look I’ve ever seen a doctor give me and said, ‘Your son is really sick,'” Stevenson recounted. “By the next day, they were telling us that they were about to transfer us to another hospital that Kaden needed a pediatric orthopedic surgeon … but I knew it was really serious the moment they said, ‘It’s going to be in a matter of minutes.’ They were just waiting on the helicopter to arrive.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new warning about invasive strep A on Wednesday, noting that at least five children in Illinois have died as a result of infections this year. Invasive strep A season typically lasts from December to April, and this type of bacterial infection is more dangerous because it can affect multiple parts of the body, such as a person’s blood, bones, or lungs.

Furthermore, despite the fact that the number of influenza cases in the United States has been relatively low, multiple strains of the influenza A virus have been in circulation, according to CDC data.

Stevenson said she didn’t realize how serious her son’s flu and strep infections could have been at first.

“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,” Stevenson said. “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.”

Although Stevenson described the last three months as “extremely frightening” for her and her son, she expressed gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals who “saved his life” and cared for the young boy.

“[Kaden] said the other little boy that died, he was sad that he died, but he was going to live for him. He was going to be strong for the little boy,” Stevenson said.

“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,” she added.

According to Stevenson, Kaden had both of his legs amputated on March 3 and is now waiting for what he refers to as his “robot legs” or prosthetic 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,” Stevenson said.

As Kaden begins a new chapter in his recovery, Stevenson hopes to raise awareness for other parents.

“If your kid has any of those signs of fever, they complain of pain, you see any rashes, just take them to the emergency.” Stevenson said. “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.”

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