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Tennessee teen loses all 4 limbs after flu-like symptoms almost turned deadly

"I don't think there's anything they could have done sooner. I think he got really sick really fast," the head of his care team said.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Matthias Uribe, 14, should be using his feet to run and his hands to play endless melodies on the piano. 

That's the potential his parents, Edgar and Catalina Uribe still see in their son after a flu-like illness prompted doctors to amputate all four of his limbs.

Matthias spent months at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital in Nashville when he was diagnosed with pneumonia, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and went into cardiac arrest. He was put on a machine that pumped blood throughout his body, which saved his life but not his limbs.

"That flow wasn't getting to all his extremities and they had to amputate all of his four extremities," Edgar Uribe said.

Dr. Katie Boyle was the head of Matthias' care team that was trying to save every inch of his limbs. She said she hardly ever sees what Matthias went through.

"I don't think there's anything they could have done sooner. I think he got really sick, really fast," Boyle said. "It's extremely rare. So, sometimes when you get the flu, it does set you up for a bacterial infection, but even then, most kids don't get nearly as sick as Matthias did."

After almost a dozen surgeries, his parents said Matthias only has two more. When he finally leaves the hospital, Edgar and Catalina Uribe said he'll jump right back into what he's been doing, even if it's with prosthetics.

"And I tell him, 'We're going to be your arms and legs until we figure all this out," Edgar said.

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