A warrior through it all: Oregon mom's story of her son's fatal - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A warrior through it all: Oregon mom's story of her son's fatal battle with flesh-eating bacteria

Posted: Updated:

1-25-18 UPDATE:

PILOT ROCK, OR - A family in Umatilla County is mourning the loss of their 8-year-old boy after he died from a flesh eating bacteria.

Reporter Kaitlyn Karmout spoke with the family today to help share their warning to others.

On a farm just outside of Pendleton is where it all happened.

"He loved to work out here with us on the farm, he just loved it, he loved life," said Sara Hebard, 8-year-old Liam Flanagan's mother.

To Hebard, little Liam - a loving, caring, and friendly boy, loved all things...especially the baby goats.

"My cousin was out here watching him, he was riding his bike," Hebard recalled.

That's when Liam fell and cut his leg.

"It had hit him on his upper thigh," she said. "Gave him a good gash."

At first, they thought his injury would be as simple as a stitch.

"We met them at the emergency room, long enough to see and make sure he was okay."

Three days later, Liam complained of his leg hurting at school.

"What boy wouldn't complain," said Hebard. "He never had stitches before."

But later that evening, it was clear the situation was much worse.

"He said, 'mom, my privates are swollen,' and I said, 'What?!'"

They rushed to the hospital in search for an answer.

"They put him into emergency surgery, to remove that area."

Hebard said that the first hospital they went to hadn't seen a case like this, and didn't know what to do.

"They flew us to Air Beckers, the hospital in Portland," Hebard said.

And then, to a third hospital a couple of days later.

"There is no way for them to stop this bacteria once it starts except to cut and pray."

The situation got even worse.

"I can't tell you what a feeling it is, when he laid there and screamed," Hebard choked through tears, "because it hurt so bad."

And 8 days later, Liam's life...taken from him.

"They tried everything - they really did - but at that point, they told us, 'there isn't anything else that we can do,'" she murmured.

But little Liam was a warrior through it all.

"They were pumping him full of morphine, but it wouldn't control it."

The Hebards left...hoping, praying, wishing...something comes out of their little Liam's story.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account for Liam here: https://www.gofundme.com/liam-flanagan-medical-fundraiser 

Benefit Dinner & Auction for Liam, Saturday, March 10 at 4:00pm, Pendleton Eagles #28: https://www.facebook.com/events/214943555738560/ 

---------------------------------

1-24-18 ORIGINAL STORY:

PENDLETON, OR (AP) - An 8-year-old Oregon boy died from rare, flesh-eating bacteria.
  
The East Oregonian newspaper reports Liam Flanagan of Pilot Rock wrecked his bike Jan. 13, with the end of the handlebar slicing through his jeans and cutting into his thigh.
  
It seemed he only needed stitches. But within days, Liam was fighting for his life.
  
Flesh-eating bacteria, which likely entered his wound from the soil, attacked the boy's soft tissue. He endured four surgeries before dying Sunday night at a Portland hospital.
  
Liam's mother and stepfather are now second-guessing themselves, wondering if they could have gotten him to the hospital sooner. They want other parents to know about the flesh-eating bacteria, known as necrotizing fasciitis, which they had previously been unaware of.

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