Baby Korbin scheduled to come home this weekend
by JENNIFER COHRON
Nov 27, 2012 | 4532 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eight-week-old Korbin Kennedy is set to come home this weekend after a two-month long battle against flesh-eating bacteria. – Photo Special to the Eagle.
Eight-week-old Korbin Kennedy is set to come home this weekend after a two-month long battle against flesh-eating bacteria. – Photo Special to the Eagle.
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Korbin Kennedy, a local infant who was diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria in October, is expected to come home this weekend.

Korbin was transferred from Children’s Hospital in Birmingham to Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Cincinnati on Nov. 9.

He was declared infection-free on Nov. 13 and underwent a successful skin graft two days later.

Korbin was discharged from the hospital a week ago but has remained in Cincinnati with his parents, Jade and Jimbo Kennedy, awaiting a clinic visit this Friday.

“We get to come home after that, but for the first few months, we have to come back to Shriner’s every two weeks for a clinic visit,” Jade Kennedy said.

Korbin has been in the hospital since he was six days old.

He was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, commonly referred to as flesh-eating bacteria, after being taken to the emergency room for running a fever of 100.4 degrees.

Korbin developed a staph infection initially. Then bacteria in his body began producing toxins that ate away his skin, fat and tissue.

More than 50 percent of his back and part of his buttocks had to be removed in an attempt to save his life.

Korbin was flown to Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Cincinnati after Zamora Shrine Temple in Birmingham offered to sponsor the family.

First, nurses performed wound cultures, which revealed that there was no infection remaining in Korbin’s body.

A skin graft followed. Skin was removed from the top of his back and placed on the wound where the infection had first began.

Jade Kennedy said that typically the skin would have been put into a machine that would stretch it until it resembled mesh.

“Since a baby’s skin is so fragile, they had to do a one-to one ratio. So they had to remove skin the exact size of his wound from the top of his back to put over it. He had two big places there,” Kennedy said.

Korbin has healed well, but his road to recovery is just beginning.

In addition to bimonthly visits to Cincinnati, Korbin has also been fitted for a compression dressing that he will have to wear 23 hours a day for the next year.

Kennedy said no further skin grafts are expected to be necessary in the near future, although Korbin will likely require a procedure called a release as he grows.

Now that Korbin’s condition is stable, his parents are preparing to turn their attention to the stack of medical bills they expect are awaiting them at home.

Jimbo Kennedy, a truck driver, has not received a paycheck in two months because he has been by his son’s side.

Jade Kennedy has been on medical leave, but that time ran out this week.

Kennedy said she was warned by her employer that if she could not return by Monday, she would be terminated.

“I am now terminated from my job,” she said.

A yard sale will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Amedisys Home Health Care in Jasper.

Proceeds will benefit the Kennedy family.

Korbin will also be receiving continued support from Zamora Shrine Temple. Shriners paid for the family’s travel expenses to Cincinnati, will be driving them back home this weekend and will also be transporting them back and forth for the bimonthly clinic visits.

“Being at this hospital and seeing the things they do for other people and for our family has been amazing. They are angels in disguise,” Kennedy said.