Michigan man who lost limbs to extreme strep throat drives again


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Michigan father whose limbs were amputated following an extreme case of strep throat is driving again.

Kevin Breen was diagnosed with an extreme and rare case of strep throat last year, one of only two men in the world with a documented case.

This week, Breen hit the road again using a vehicle equipped with hand controls. Breen's wife posted a video to Facebook showing him behind the wheel. (Watch it below)

“Bella, what’s daddy doing?” She asks in the video.

“He’s driving with me. And I get to drive with him my first time,” her daughter says from the back seat.

It all started when he started feeling sick on Christmas Day. Days later, his stomach pain was so unbearable he went to the emergency room. Doctors found his stomach was filling with puss, but they didn't know why.

At one point, his wife was told to gather family and prepare for the worst.

"That moment was terrifying," she said. "I just kind of lost it and stopped and prayed."

Doctors said a rash on Breen's upper torso was a clue -- a common sign of strep in his belly. It's assumed he got it from his son. The strep traveled from his throat to his stomach and his body couldn't fight it.

"So basically he just had a very strong strain of it, and he was very susceptible to it," a doctor said.

Despite that storm, changing Breen's life forever, he's the first to admit he's glad to still be alive.

"Life is forever going to be different, but different doesn't necessarily have to be bad," Breen said. "It's just going to be what we make it and we just have to figure it out, figure it our for our kids. Dad's going to have cool hands. Dad's going to have cool feet. We have to be positive."

His doctors said they've only found 32 cases of strep traveling to the abdomen. Most are from the urinary track in women. Breen is one of two men in the world who have had this happen.

We have been waiting for this day a long time! The smiles around this house are priceless. To all that have help us with driving the last year, we are so thankful. Wahoo!! Thankful, happy, Smiles from ear to ear, blessed!

Posted by Julie Seestedt Breen on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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