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How the Oak Park 10-year-old who survived going septic is continuing her brave fight

Kennedy Mayer SEPSIS
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 14, 2024

OAK PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Six weeks since we met dog-loving, Taylor Swift-adoring Kennedy Mayer at her hospital bed at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, we got to talk to her in her newly decorated bedroom at her home in Oak Park.

The 10-year-old reunited with her soul dog Lola.

Kennedy Mayer SEPSIS

"I was just feeling really happy that I was home," Kennedy said. "It kind of felt like me and Lola were just like meant to be."

Her mom Meghan Mayer told since we last talked with the family, "The love was overwhelming. I was able to give her a whole new bedroom makeover."

Watch our previous report below when we talked with Kennedy and her mother, who was raising awareness about the flesh-eating disease:

Mom helps spread awareness about sepsis after her 10-year-old gets flesh-eating disease

Even Kennedy's little sister, 7-year-old Elle Mayer, wanted to share what it was like having Kennedy back home.

"I gave her a hug because I really missed her. It’s not life without my sister being here," Elle said.

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The story of how Kennedy arrive to this moment, healing at home in Oak Park, all started at the end of March when she got the flu.

Things spiraled quickly. On Easter Sunday, Kennedy said her face started to hurt and she got the chills.

VIDEO: Dr. Nandi talks about sepsis and details what you need to know

Dr. Nandi talks about sepsis and details what you need to know

The next morning, she woke up with a tiny eye bruise. Her parents rushed her to the doctor, who told them to go to the emergency room.

By the afternoon, Kennedy was in severe sepsis with multiple organs failing.

Thankfully her mom and her dad Thomas Mayer got Kennedy to the emergency room quickly. Doctors there saved her life.

VIDEO: Hear Kennedy and Meghan talk about the health scare

Hear from Kennedy and Meghan about the 10-year-old's health scare

When we interviewed Meghan Mayer back in May, we asked her what she felt when doctors told her her little girl may die. Now, we're able to ask her and Thomas Mayer what they felt when doctors said their little girl was going to be able to go home.

"It was surreal, like I think I cried," Meghan Mayer said.

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"We got so comfortable in the hospital it was like OK, what do we do now?" Thomas Mayer said.

After 52 days in the hospital, Kennedy came home on a date she'll never forget.

"May 22nd," she told us.

Her fight isn't quite over. She still has obstacles in her path that take great courage to fight through.

Her family shared with us stories of people staring at her at physical therapy.

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"Kennedy, when we got done with physical therapy, she was kind of sad the whole time," Thomas Mayer said. "She got back in the car and was like, 'Dad did you see the people staring at me?' I was like, 'Yes, honey. I saw the people staring at you. they just don’t understand.' It’s frustrating."

Kennedy told us she struggles sleeping. And gesturing to a finger tip she said, "When we came home a couple days ago, this fell off. Toes haven’t fallen off yet, but I think they may really soon."

However, thankfully, we know that Kennedy is a fighter and a magnetic one!

There are more people than she knows cheering her on as she continues to shine.

"She doesn’t feel sorry for herself at all," Thomas Mayer said. "She just keeps moving forward."

Kennedy Mayer sepsis

Elle said, "She can be brave. She’s smart, she’s kind."

"People go through things every single day that they think that their life is over, and how are you going to get through it? If my 10-year-old can get through everything that she has been through and still have a smile on her face, you can get through anything," Meghan Mayer said..

Kennedy said, "I feel like, like superstar just walking down the red carpet."