Woman battling flesh-eating bacteria takes first steps as part of recovery

A Newnan woman, battling a flesh-eating bacteria, reached a big milestone this week. She took her first steps since losing the ability to walk.
Kristie Vessel was diagnosed with a flesh-eating bacteria this spring called necrotizing fasciitis.
"When she called me and told me she took her first steps, you are -- you can't yell loud enough. I'm very ecstatic because it's been 2.5 months," said her husband, Jack Vessell.
Doctors say Vessell most likely got the infection from a small open wound, but they don't know where she came in contact with the bacteria.

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Jack Vessel told Channel 2's Craig Lucie that doctors have been able to save her leg, but she will need several skin grafts.
"We are very fortunate. She took steps, but they are not normal steps," said Vessell.
Emory rehabilitation hospital in Dekalb County is the third hospital Vessel has been in in 2 ½ months. They live in Newnan, so it is not an easy commute for the family. Jack Vessel says they have had some problems with their insurance company.
"When she was released from Midtown, the hospital suggested another hospital which was just 10 minutes from our house, but the insurance company denied that. So instead of a 10-minute drive, it's an hour and half drive," said Vessell.
Lucie asked him how high their medical bills are now.

"They are around $1.2 million," said Vessell.
Vessell told Lucie that he's been working hard because the expenses keep adding up.
"Even after insurance, our responsibility is $77,000, which is a lot of money out of pocket," said Vessell.
When Kristie Vessel gets home, her husband told Lucie she will be happy to see her beloved pet.
"She has a tabby cat that is her baby. I have to take videos of him. I send her videos, and she has to talk to him on the phone. So when she gets home, that cat is going to get loved," said Vessell.
Right now Kristie Vessel is expected to be released on Wednesday, if all goes to plan. Saturday Jack Vessel says he and his children will be taking a class so they can learn how to take care of her as soon as she gets home.
If you would like to help with their medical bills, you can do so here https://www.Giveforward.Com/fundraiser/zk09