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Melbourne mother reveals how her baby daughter nearly lost her leg to Strep A

A baby girl nearly lost her leg as a deadly flesh-eating bacteria devoured her limb after her parents thought she just had the flu.

Tania O'Meara's daughter Eden was just 11-months-old when she was struck down with Strep A - an infectious bacteria that attacks and destroys flesh.

The Melbourne toddler had a series of colds and flus but her mum knew something more was wrong and took her to hospital.

She then spent the next 23 days in intensive care, undergoing four surgeries but thankfully was able to keep her leg.

'The problem with Strep A is it's often masked by your common flus and colds,' Ms O'Meara told Daily Mail Australia.

Tania O'Meara's daughter Eden was just 11-months-old when she was struck down with Strep A - an infectious bacterial disease

She said both she and her husband 'knew something was wrong' because Eden wasn't recovering from her medication and was becoming unresponsive in her behaviour.

A clot in her leg caused her whole limb to start swelling and she was rushed to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

'We were told that in order to stop the bug infecting her leg they were going to amputate,' Ms O'Meara said.

'You're not concerned about limbs when her life is in jeopardy. If she loses a limb then she loses a limb but as long as we get to take her home.

'For six days while she was in hospital we didn't know if she was going to make it.'

Thankfully for Eden and her family she was able to keep her leg but underwent multiple surgeries to remove the dead flesh from her calf.

Her mother said her 'saving grace' was that she was a big baby so she had flesh to lose.

Ms O'Meara said one of the most distressing parts of the whole ordeal was that she noticed her baby girl becoming a 'blank canvas'.

Thankfully for Eden and her family she was able to keep her leg but underwent several surgeries to remove the dead flesh on her calf

WHAT IS STREP A? 

Strep A is part of a group of bacteria that can cause different infections

It can cause cold like symptoms, sore throats and fevers

Other symptoms include enlarged lymph nodes and vomiting

In extreme cases it can cause flesh eating diseases, toxic shock syndrome and other infectious diseases like kidney and heart problems

Antibiotics are used to treat the condition if possible. Vaccines are being trialled 

'She was awake but she wasn't there. We were very scared that she may not be the same Eden anymore,' she said.

But the medication started to work, and Eden slowly returned to her normal self and was able to leave hospital for her first Christmas Day.

Two years on, Ms O'Meara said her little girl had nearly fully recovered.

'She still has a few issues with her hearing and gets swollen legs from the clot but within the next three of four years we should hopefully see the back of it,' she said.

Eden will also have to undergo another reconstructive surgery on her leg as she continues to grow.

'Her hearing seems to be stabilising and while she was afraid of people for a very long time she's starting to build relationships with other kids,' her mother said.

'She's finally kicked the disease's a**e. She wouldn't be alive without the hospital staff and researchers, I can't thank them enough.'

The Murdoch Children's Research Institute is about to start trialling vaccines for Strep A.

The illness infects about 750 million people and kills 500,000 every year.

It can also cause toxic shock syndrome, flesh-eating diseases, post-infectious illnesses including kidney and heart diseases. 

Ms O'Meara said news of a potential vaccine could be life changing.

Eden is now three-years-old and has made an almost complete recovery (pictured with her mother)

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