Oregon boy, 8, dies from flesh-eating bacteria after falling off bike

And 8-year-old boy from Oregon has just died days after contracting rare, flesh-eating bacteria.

Liam Ferguson, a second grader who loved bicycles and animals, wrecked his bike as he rode down a hill nearby his family's home in Pilot Rock on Jan. 13.

According to the East Oregonian, the young boy was rushed to a hospital after his bike's handlebar sliced through his pants and cut into his thigh.

“When he wrecked, it went into his upper thigh just below his groin and gave him a pretty good gash," Sara Hebard, Liam's mother, told the local paper.

RELATED: Deadliest contagious, infectious diseases

The deadliest infectious diseases in modern history
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The deadliest infectious diseases in modern history

HIV/AIDS: as of 2012, roughly 36 million deaths worldwide since discovery; 1.3 million deaths in 2013 alone

(Photo: HIV-infected T-cells under high magnification, via Getty Images)

Tuberculosis: caused between 1.3 and 1.5 million deaths in 2013

(Photo: Tuberculosis, via Science Photo Library/Getty Images)

Malaria: up to 855,000 deaths in 2013

(Photo: Malarial Parasite inside Red Blood Cell, via Getty Images)

Pneumonia: results in approx. 4 million deaths per year

(Photo: Microphotograph of diplococcus, bacterium responsible for pneumonia, via Getty Images)

Creuztfeldt-Jakob Disease: 100% fatal

(Photo: Creuztfeldt-Jakob Disease, via Getty Images)

Middle East respiratory syndrome: 41% fatal

(Photo: Getty Images)

Rabies: up to 100% fatal if left untreated

(Photo: Brain of a rabies patient showing negri bodies in the cerebellum, via Getty Images)


At first, Hebard said it seemed her son only needed stitches. But within days, the young boy was reportedly fighting for his life.

Hebard said her son had begun to develop a "purplish-red and gangrenous looking" wound on his groin.


He was taken to the hospital again, four days after the initial accident, where doctors diagnosed him with necrotizing fasciitis, which reportedly has a high fatality rate, between 20 and 80 percent.

According to Liam's mother, doctors said the young boy likely contracted the bacteria when his open wound came in contact with soil. Liam went on to endure four surgeries before dying at a Portland hospital on Sunday night.

SEE ALSO: Texas woman dies from flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters

“It's so rare and they have no reason of why he got it; that it's in the soil, that it's everywhere and there's one in a million chance that he'd get it," Hebard said. "[Doctors] tell me the absolutely only way that anybody will ever know if they have this disease, this bacteria, is just more pain than is normal."

Gofundme account had has been created to help the family with medical and funeral costs.

“He was a bright, shining star. He protected everyone," Hebard said. "Numerous times bullies at school would be picking on someone and he'd stand up for them.”

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