Strep bacteria puts Decatur teen on life support


DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — It was supposed to be another family Christmas, but for Alexis Patton, it was anything but.

“She started to feel bad Thursday night, the 21st of December,” said mother Jennifer Phillips. “I took her that next day, Friday, and then by Monday evening she was intubated on life support.”

Phillips says streptococcus — the bacteria behind strep throat — got into her daughter’s bloodstream, settling in her legs.

Alexis is now at OSF HealthCare Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria and a far cry from the fun-loving teen her teacher remembers from homecoming.

“She was just dancing with her friends and really having a great time soaking up high school memories,” said Kathy White, Alexis’ algebra teacher. “[Her classmates and I] talk about it every day. They ask ‘what’s going on with Alexis?’”

“It’s been really hard — the traveling back and forth, the sleepless nights at the hospital over and over. It’s been really rough,” Phillips said. “She’s going to have to have a lot of surgeries, a lot of skin grafts and [she will have to] learn how to walk again.”

Phillips is now encouraging parents to be especially cautious with each and every fever.

“Don’t wait to take your kids in,” she said. “Even if they just have common cold/flu symptoms. Make sure they’re getting checked.”

All she can do now is wait and pray.

Alexis is awake and off life support, but it’s still going to be a long road to recovery.

But her mother and beloved puppies hope she can be back to smiling at home by her birthday in March.

“Keep fighting,” Phillips said. “Keep listening to the doctors. Keep praying.”

If you would like to help Alexis and her family with medical expenses, the family has set up a GoFundMe page for donations.

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