A New York girl is recovering after she contracted a flesh-eating bacteria from swimming in a hotel pool.
Amillian 'Mimi' Villa, seven, from The Bronx, went swimming at the pool for a birthday party in October 2017.
Within days, she said she felt pain in her left arm and she developed a fever. Her mother took her to the emergency room, but doctors said she had likely just sprained her arm.
But then her arm turned a purple color and began massively swelling, and she was transferred to a different hospital.
It was there that doctors discovered she was infected with group A Streptococcus, the leading cause of the rare bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis.
Surgeons worked to save her arm by removing as much dead skin and muscle as possible, but were forced to amputate it to stop the infection from spreading.
Despite initially losing some self-confidence after coming out of surgery, Mimi has gained her independence back and has learned how to dress on her own, tie her shoes by herself and even dribble and shoot a basketball.
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Amillian 'Mimi' Villa, seven, from The Bronx, New York, went swimming at a hotel pool for a birthday party in October 2017. Pictured: Mimi after her amputation
She started complaining of pain in her left arm and developed a fever. Her mother took her to the ER, where doctors said she likely had a sprained arm and a common cold. Pictured, left and right: Mimi being fitted for her prosthetic arm, left, and with her sister before the amputation, right
'Mimi can do everything that a two-handed person can do. She just does it differently,' Kelly Milano, her occupational therapist at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, told DailyMail.com.
'She never gives up or asks for help unless she really needs it. She's a fierce, confident girl.'
The seven-year-old has learned how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by herself, tie her own shoes and dribble a basketball.
But doctors are stumped as to how she became infected in the first place.
Her mother, Vanessa Avila, said her daughter, then five, went swimming at a hotel pool for a birthday party in October 2017.
Mimi and her sister were characters from the Disney movie Descendants for Halloween and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
A few days later, when Avila picked her up from school, Mimi started complaining of pain in her left arm.
Th next morning, Mimi woke up with a fever, so Avila took her daughter to the emergency department at St John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers.
Doctors told Avila that Mimi likely had a sprain and that her fever was due to a common cold.
'They told me to send her home and give her Tylenol and Motrin for the pain,' Avila said.
'I stayed home with her that weekend and, by Sunday, her arm was swollen and purple and stiff as a rock.'
Mimi was taken back to the ER, where doctors assumed she has a blood clot, and and she