Valley toddler loses part of his hand to antibiotic-resistant bacteria

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On Father’s Day, 16-month-old Michael Reihle and his family went to a local water park where they believe he picked up MRSA, an antibiotic resistant, hard-to-treat bacteria. (Source: Reihle family) On Father’s Day, 16-month-old Michael Reihle and his family went to a local water park where they believe he picked up MRSA, an antibiotic resistant, hard-to-treat bacteria. (Source: Reihle family)
The bump turned into a painful blister. After a second trip to the doctor, finally it was diagnosed. (Source: Reihle family) The bump turned into a painful blister. After a second trip to the doctor, finally it was diagnosed. (Source: Reihle family)
(Source: Reihle family) (Source: Reihle family)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

What looked like a bug bite turned into something so much worse. Now, a Phoenix toddler is missing part of his hand.

On Father’s Day, 16-month-old Michael Reihle and his family went to a local water park where they believe he picked up MRSA, an antibiotic resistant, hard-to-treat bacteria.

"To us, it looked like maybe he had been outside and got bit by a simple mosquito," said Joseph Reihle, the boy’s father.

A day later, it was getting worse. They took him to a doctor.

"They gave us some antibiotics thinking it was a bug bite and it didn't work," said Joseph.

The bump turned into a painful blister. After a second trip to the doctor, finally it was diagnosed.

"We hadn't heard of it prior to this event happening," said Joseph.

But the damage had been done. Michael needed two surgeries.

“They had to take a small piece of his palm muscle out because it was totally basically gone," said Joseph.

Now, they have a message for other families.

"I wouldn't wish any family any parents to go through what we went through,” said Joseph.

“That's why we want to spread his story, we want it to be out there so other parents can know, take something that looks as small as a bug bite a little more serious than typical, especially if you see within 24 hours that it does not go down any."

The MRSA is gone now and Michael will likely have a scar his whole life, but he should have full use of his hand.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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