By: Cole Miller
A Lincoln mother is coping with a nightmare as her son battles a rare disease. Her little boy has necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria.
"He's just one and he's so precious. He's just a fighter."
Doing her best to hold back tears, Theralee Guevara shares the story of her youngest son, Matthew.
A normally happy little boy, Guevara says last week he was in excruciating pain.
"It was different from the normal one-year-old teething pain."
He was put on antibiotics, but things only got worse. Guevara took him to a local hospital early Friday and he was then rushed to Children's Hospital in Omaha.
In that time, she says a medic noticed a small blister below his stomach. It doubled in size by the time he was admitted.
"It was just rapidly, rapidly spreading right before our eyes," Guevara said.
Doctors immediately pumped Matthew full of more antibiotics and took him into surgery. Then the diagnosis came---necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria.
"It's unthinkable. It's just attacking his body, eating away at his flesh. It's just like a horror story."
Five surgeries later and skin removed from his groin to upper chest, Guevara can't help but think of the haunting reminders.
"The scars," Guevara said.
"He may not remember, he's one, but the scars are going to be with him for a long time. They're going to be with him for the rest of his life."
As the transition from survival to recovery begins, there remains one unanswered question.
"That's the scary thing. How he got this, nobody knows."
With four other children to watch over at home, Guevara is hoping and praying that this nightmare quickly goes away her little boy can soon return home.
As you can imagine, the medical funds are already piling up. A fund as been set up at Wells Fargo under Matthew's name. It's the Matthew Guevara Necrotizing Fasciitis Fund.
The family hopes by sharing their story, they can help educate the public about this very rare disease.