My daughter, 6, was left unable to walk after horror Strep A infection – the terrifying warning signs to look out for

A mother has shared how Strep left her daughter in the hospital unable to walk, and warns parents to know the warning signs to look out for.

Kadie Dolphin, 37, first noticed symptoms of the infection on November 8 and just hours later her daughter was in the hospital.

A mother has shared Strep A warning signs after her daughter fell victim to the infection


A mother has shared Strep A warning signs after her daughter fell victim to the infectionPhoto credit: SWNS
Nancie Rae Dolphin before she was struck by the infection


Nancie Rae Dolphin before she was struck by the infectionPhoto credit: SWNS
She stayed in the hospital and could not work


She stayed in the hospital and could not workPhoto credit: SWNS
Nancie Rae warns parents to know the symptoms


Nancie Rae warns parents to know the symptomsPhoto credit: SWNS

She was badly swollen and could not walk.

Thankfully, Nancie Rae Dolphin, 6, has recovered from the infection and Kadie says she’s back to her normal, bubbly self.

The mother-of-five shared the harrowing experience to help other parents spot the symptoms in their own children.

Kadie said: “Doctors said early detection was the reason she recovered so quickly.

“To be honest, I was absolutely petrified — at the point where she started going really badly, we didn’t know what it was and it felt like it took forever to figure out what.” was happening.

“The doctor said that the swelling started in front of her eyes, [Nancie Rae] was swollen right in front of us, the doctor said we were really worried and I was like oh god.

“The worrying thing is that I didn’t know what was going on — I looked at her and thought, ‘Am I going to go out without my daughter?'”

Kadie, a health worker from Warrington, Cheshire, first noticed something was wrong with Nancie Rae on the evening of November 7th.

Her daughter had come downstairs at 6pm and had complained of an itchy tummy – and when Kadie looked she noticed there was a small spot on her stomach and knee that resembled a mosquito bite.

She gave her daughter an antihistamine and thought nothing of it until 6am the next morning when Nancie Rae came down the stairs with a high temperature and a rash where the ‘bites’ had been.

“On November 7th, my daughter finished school happy and healthy – she’s a livewire anyway, she’s crazy,” Kadie said.

“Around 6pm she came down the stairs and said ‘Mom, my stomach is itchy’, it looked like she had a little bite.

“Because she was playing outside I assumed she had been bitten by a mosquito and had a reaction.

What are the symptoms of invasive group A streptococcus?

According to the NHS, there are four key signs of group strep A to look out for. These are:

  1. Fever (ie a high temperature above 38°C)
  2. Severe muscle pain
  3. Localized muscle tenderness
  4. Redness at the site of a wound

The invasive version of the disease occurs when the bacteria breach the body’s immune defenses.

This can happen if you are already unwell or have a weakened immune system.

“I gave her an antihistamine but the next morning the rash was all over her stomach — it was a weird flat rash and she felt very hot.”

Kadie tried to get a doctor’s appointment but was told nothing would be available until 6pm that day – and by 9.30am Nancie Rae’s hand began to swell.

Deciding not to wait, Kadie took her daughter to Halton Urgent Care Center. Within five minutes of their arrival, the couple were taken to a room and examined by a doctor.

Although they initially believed it was an allergic reaction, when Nancie Rae’s hands, face and lymph nodes continued to swell, they decided to transfer her to Warrington Hospital.

On arrival she was given amoxicillin antibiotics and blood samples and a throat swab were taken to test her – at which point she was diagnosed with Strep A infection.

How do you catch Group Strep A?

Many people actually carry group A streptococci without ever developing symptoms or feeling unwell.

However, it can be passed from person to person through close contact, including kissing and touching the skin.

dr Rachel says, “It can also be transmitted from person to person by touching objects with the bacteria.”

However, contracting invasive group A streptococcal disease from loved ones is rare, according to the NHS.

The bacteria – also known as a sore throat – can be transmitted via droplets when you cough or sneeze.

Kadie said: “I went to Halton Urgent Care and said I thought it was a reaction so a doctor gave her a piriton but another doctor said it wasn’t typical of an allergic reaction.

“She swelled up before our eyes – a few more fingers were swollen, her lymph nodes were swollen, she had lumps in her throat and her legs hurt.

“We went to Warrington Hospital and they started on amoxicillin, they had to draw her 11 vials of blood.

“She had lost the ability to walk, all her joints were swollen, she was all red and still had a high temperature – a throat swab was taken for Strep A.

“All night the medicine didn’t work and they kept coming back and saying she wasn’t getting better – she was kind of awake but she was very limp and couldn’t hold herself up.

Who is at risk?

Some people are at higher risk of contracting the invasive form.

According to the NHS, these people include anyone who:

  • is in close contact with someone who already has it
  • is over 65 years old
  • is diabetic
  • has heart disease or cancer
  • recently had chicken pox
  • has HIV
  • uses some steroids or intravenous drugs

The time of year can also be a factor. Outbreaks can be widespread in late winter and early spring, but the risk remains year-round.

“Amoxycillin is useless for strep A, so they switched from steroids to penicillin.”

She was given penicillin through an IV drip, but due to the high concentration of the antibiotic, it left the boy with a burning sensation in her arms.

Nancie Rae was unable to walk or speak, and Kadie says she “screamed” because she was in so much pain.

Doctors continued to monitor her condition while Kadie and her daughter stayed in the hospital for two days.

Thankfully, Nancie Rae’s condition improved after 48 hours as the swelling went down and she was sent home on antibiotics.

While she had some lasting effects, including damage to her kidneys and a secondary infection, she recovered at home and Kadie says she’s back to her “normal, crazy mental self”.

Kadie said: “The care has been fantastic, I can’t fault the NHS at all – they’ve been absolutely fantastic and really on the ball.

“She’s pretty tiny for a six-year-old anyway and this infection has wreaked havoc on her body, but she’s gone back to her normal, crazy mental self.

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“She’s wild and won’t leave us a minute, once she opens her eyes she won’t shut up.

“All we hear is that the kids are over but that’s not all, she’s home and fine, as awful as it was we need to build immunity.” My daughter, 6, was left unable to walk after horror Strep A infection – the terrifying warning signs to look out for

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