Oregon mom's message to other parents after the sudden death of her son

Photo courtesy Sara Hebard

An Oregon mom is finding the strength to talk about her son’s sudden death, less than two weeks after it happened. She’s doing it because she wants to warn other parents, and she thinks her son would have wanted her to try to save other lives.

Liam Flanagan, 8, was a typical, active farm boy, living in Pilot Rock with his mom, Sara, his stepdad Scott, and his stepbrothers. He wrecked his bike and got a nasty cut on his leg. It was the type of injury that kids suffer all the time. A few stitches, and Liam was healing. He even went back to school.

But this crash was different because of something Liam's parents couldn't see. Within a few days, Liam was fighting for his life. Deadly bacteria had gotten into his deep tissue through that bike crash wound and had spread up his leg, into his groin, and eventually into his chest. It was necrotizing fasciitis, caused by a toxic flesh-eating bacteria.

Eight days after that bike crash, his parents had to make the impossible decision to take him off life support, and say goodbye. It was devastating.

Sara talked to KATU News about her son’s life, and the one thing she wants other parents to learn from their family’s tragedy.

She says Liam had good wound care, and while there are things doctors could have tried, there's nothing certain they could have done differently that would have saved Liam's life, except time. Sara urges parents to not wait to get help if they feel something's out of the ordinary. With a flesh-eating bacteria, one of the most important things is time.

Below, we've posted Sara and Scott's heart-wrenching interview in the hopes that the details they share could give another family the information they need to recognize a bad infection and get help before it's too late.

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