A simple cut on his leg led to necrotizing fasciitis, a rare and dangerous infection. 

By Lisa Milbrand
Updated January 30, 2019

It all started with a cut on 6-year-old Chance Wade's leg. He developed a limp and leg pain—and a visit to the doctor only found a case of strep throat. But a few days later, Chance was hospitalized with a dangerous and rare bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis, which has begun killing off the tissue in both of his legs.

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Necrotizing fasciitis has come to be known as the flesh-eating bacteria because it kills off the fascia, living tissue beneath your skin that surrounds your muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. It is relatively rare—the CDC only estimating between 700 and 1200 cases in the U.S. each year—but it must be treated quickly. 

Experts believe that group A Streptococcus is a common cause of necrotizing fasciitis, which could be why Chance's original diagnosis was strep throat. 

"Once we got here, the infection had aggressively went through his whole thigh, all the way to his knee," his mother, Melissa Evans, told WJTV.  "We just got an update that it did spread to his other leg. It can come from many things—staph, just a small cut, an open wound, just a scratch... Just continue to pray for me and my baby—he's still fighting."

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Chance has already had multiple surgeries to remove dead tissue, and is still hospitalized near their hometown of McComb, Mississippi. A family member has set up a GoFundMe to help the family deal with medical expenses, and help ensure the family will have a Merry Christmas—hopefully, with Chance at home.

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This article originally appeared on Parents.com