A TODDLER who almost died after a flesh-eating bug ravaged his body is facing extensive surgery in 2014 as medics try to repair the damage.
Frankie Mould has been making the most of the festive season with big brother Kayne as he prepares for further operations in the new year.
Eight months ago, Frankie, two, dubbed the titanium toddler, was left fighting for life after his little body was attacked by the bug.
Doctors feared the worst as family gathered round his hospital bed to say prayers for the youngster, described at the time as “the sickest little boy in the UK”.
Despite recovering and returning to his Hylton Castle home, Frankie faces more operations in 2014 as medics try to graft healthy skin over the damaged areas.
Mum Lucy Dove, 26, said: “Frankie defied the odds by winning his fight but that was just the start of a long recovery.
“The time we spent in hospital supporting our baby through painful dressing changes and operations, where he would be screaming in pain, were very difficult for me but allowed me to really reflect on life and Christmas was one of the things I looked forward to.
“More than 10 operations later, Frankie continues to need a lot of care. The hospital appointments are constant and he will continue to need operations for a very long time.
“Christmas would have been unimaginable had things not went our way back then and we will forever be grateful for the first class care we received.”
The family, including Kayne, three, and dad, Wayne Mould, 25, enjoyed spending the festive season together.
Lucy added: “Come the New Year, Frankie will be back in theatre for more steroid injections.
“He and Kayne have been amazing and Santa Claus had lots of presents for them.”
In April, Frankie spent 12 days in a medically-induced coma after the flesh-eating virus forced doctors to remove skin from his back, chest, and one leg.
As Lucy and Wayne kept vigil by their son’s bed. The community near where he lived said prayers in church for the youngster’s recovery.
Surgeons at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary were forced to cut right down to the muscle in a bid to stop the infection, known as Nacrotising Fascitis (NF), eating his whole body.
NF, commonly known as flesh-eating disease or flesh-eating bacteria syndrome, is a rare infection of the deeper layers of skin, easily spreading across the body.
For more information visit www.nfsuk.org.uk.