A mom is opening up about how she lost all of her fingers, toes, and one of her legs. She hopes that her story will be a warning to others.

As Alecia Kennen told Fox 9, it all happened in June of 2015 when she accidentally tripped over her dog, which resulted in a rug burn. After receiving the rug burn, the single mom of three began feeling pain.

However, the mom didn’t think much of it until the pain, which was located in her armpit, started to get more intense. It was then that she took herself to the hospital.

Kennen told Fox 9:

“The nurse knew right away. The doctor knew right away that something was wrong.”

However, as the mom explained, while the nurses and doctors knew right away that something wasn’t right, they also weren’t exactly sure what was wrong.

Fox 9

Kennen explained:

“They had told my family that there wasn’t a clear answer and they weren’t sure what it was and I was losing the battle.”

And within just days after taking herself to the hospital, Kennen began bleeding internally, her lungs filled with fluid, her limbs started turning black, and vital organs started to fail.

Doctors told Kennen’s family to start saying their goodbyes when they found the answer they were looking for.


As Fox 9 reports, doctors finally figured out why Kennen was so sick after one of her sons began complaining of a sore throat. It was after they tested each of her three children for strep throat, and all three of the tests came back positive that they were able to diagnose Kennen with Group A Strep Toxic Shock Syndrome.

The bacteria made its way into Kennen’s bloodstream through the rug burn that was on her shoulder:

“It went from rug burn to barely being alive within a week’s time.”

As Dr. Stacene Maroushek of Hennepin Healthcare explained to Fox 9, Group A Strep Toxic Shock Syndrome is rare, but it can happen. And while there is no real way to prevent it, immediately washing cuts, scrapes, and burns can help.

Dr. Maroushek also explained that toxin can enter the wound by happenstance:

“Everybody has staph and strep living on their skin and you get an opening and you may just be unlucky enough to get a toxin containing germ, or you get lucky enough to get a regular one and your body’s immune system is able to fight it and control it,”

As a result of the Group A Strep Toxic Shock Syndrome, Kennen had all of her fingers and toes amputated, as well as her right leg below the knee. And while it was a hard time in her life to wrap her head around, the mom hopes her story can save a life:

“If somebody sees this and is able to say, ‘Hey, I’ve never heard of it, and I’ve heard of it now,’ and be aware of it, it makes a difference for me.”

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