Five years ago, when Cox was eight, she scratched her hand while pulling it out of a fish tank in her home and thought nothing of it until her mother noticed the cut was oozing and took her to the doctor.
Doctors prescribed her a series of antibiotics but after the medicine failed, a dermatologist diagnosed Cox with Mycobacterium marinum, or fish tank granuloma. The bacteria is not contagious, but it can eat away at deep tissue and bones.
Doctors have tried all kinds of antibiotics and surgeries, but the “super bug,” continues to grow stronger and is now infecting the bones in Cox’s hand.
Cox will undergo a third surgery in California next week to remove any infected tissue, when doctors hope to take a closer look at the infection in the bone.
The aspiring gymnast says she is in constant pain and had to give up gymnastics, volleyball, and horseback riding.
If the bacteria continues to resist treatment, doctors fear the only answer will be amputation.
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