Peoria mom recovering from flesh-eating bacteria talks about experience for first time

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Christin Lipinski is up and walking again, which is pretty amazing considering her three month battle with flesh-eating bacteria.

"I'd heard of flesh-eating bacteria, and when I was told that I had it, I honestly didn't believe it," said Lipinski. "When I woke up, I thought I was in a car accident or something."

Back in January, the Valley mother of three had some flu-like symptoms and pain on her side.

Then suddenly, she needed emergency surgery to repair the damage from the rare disease that had eaten away roughly 30-percent of the soft tissue on her body.

On Thursday, the Peoria school teacher, alongside her husband and doctor, talked about the ordeal for the first time, during a news conference at the Maricopa Medical Center.

"I feel much stronger, but I really do push myself and get up often," said Lipinski. "I don't want to be in that bed. I've had those days where I ask, why me, but I'm getting through it ."

"I can't wait to get her home for the kids, and me, too," said Nathan Lipinski, Christin's husband. "I just want her to be with her babies again."

So far, Lipinski has had 23 surgeries and there may be more.

Dr. Kevin Foster is director of the Arizona Burn Center.

He said that a new technique using skin spray re-cell treatment made a huge difference in her recovery.

Lipinski is hoping to be released from the hospital in the next couple weeks.

According to Foster, the bacterium that causes flesh-eating disease often enters the body through a cut, insect bite or burn on your skin, which is why it is so important to keep a wound clean to prevent bacteria from getting in.

About 1 in 100,000 people in the U.S. get the flesh-eating disease each year.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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