Welcome home Mila: Plymouth toddler out of hospital after Group A Strep

  • Watch Jacquie Bird's report

A Plymouth toddler is back home after a Christmas spent in Derriford Hospital suffering from complications of Group A Strep.

20-month-old Mila was rushed in for emergency surgery after the Group A Strep induced sepsis, which infected her elbow joint.

She needed five operations to try to rinse out the infection from her arm.

Her mum, Thea Rowe, shared her story so that other parents would know the dangers of Group A Strep - saying people should trust their gut instincts if their children are ill and take them to hospital.

Two weeks after she was admitted to hospital, Mila was allowed back home and she and her mum and dad had an 'after Christmas' Christmas on New Year's Eve.

Mila with Mum Thea Rowe Credit: ITV News Westcountry

Thea said Mila's recovery has been remarkable, telling ITV News West Country: "I really didn't know if we were going to come out of the hospital with her. So to me it's just amazing that we even did and for her to be how she is.

"Even to the point of like, I just feel so grateful that she has got an arm, I know at one point they said it was arm saving surgery, she could have lost it.

"For her to be ok in herself is just, it's brilliant isn't it?"

Thea took Mila to hospital after she had been unwell for several days and woke up one morning to find she had a mottled rash, blue lips, hands and feet, and a swollen arm.

  • NHS Devon has this advice on what to look out for in a suspected Group A Strep Infection:

It’s always concerning when a child is unwell. GAS infections cause various symptoms such as sore throat, fever, chills, and muscle aches.

As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement.

Contact NHS 111 or your GP if:

  • your child is getting worse

  • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal, especially if they are drooling or appear in pain when swallowing

  • your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration

  • feeling thirsty

  • dark yellow, strong-smelling pee

  • peeing less often than usual

  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • feeling tired

  • a dry mouth, lips, and tongue

  • sunken eyes (dark circles under eyes)

  • crying without tears

  • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39C or higher

  • your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty

  • your child is drowsy (much more sleepy than normal) or irritable (unable to settle them with cuddles, toys, TV, or snacks – especially if they remain drowsy or irritable despite any fever coming down)

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs

  • there are long pauses (more than 10 seconds) when your child breathes

  • your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue

  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

  • your child feels very cold or clammy to touch

  • your child has severe pains in their arms, legs neck or back

  • your child has a painful, red area of skin, especially if it is getting bigger quickly

High Temperature guidance:

  • Parents can see guidance on when to seek advice if your child has a high temperature, by using the free HANDi Paediatric app

Consultant Paediatrician Dr Rowan Kerr-Liddell from Torbay Hospital advised that parents should seek medical help if they had concerns about their children having Group A Strep. The number of cases in the community remains higher than it normally would be.

Steps to guard against Group A Strep include:

* Giving young children the flu vaccine

* Regular hand washing and hygiene

* Children and adults with suspected scarlet fever or GAS should stay off nursery/school/work for 24 hours after starting antibiotics.