Young flesh-eating bacteria victim is home, but bills mounting

SEATTLE -- We have an update on a little girl who mysteriously developed a flesh eating bacteria. After two weeks in the hospital and eight surgeries, life is getting back to normal for two year old Zoey Chalk.

"It's been a relief to see her smiling again and talking again and starting to act more like herself," mom Valorie Chalk said.

Zoey had a near brush with death when a small cut on her ankle became infected with a flesh eating bacteria. Doctors at Seattle Children's got ahead of it, saving Zoey's leg and her life.

Now back home, Zoey can't sit on a swing. She can't even walk on her own. And she's barely eating.

"She gets tired so easy now," Valorie said. "It's not the Zoey we used to have."

She needs constant care, and both parents are home.

"We have this pile of bills creeping in, whether it's hospital bills or normal bills people have," Zoey's father Bryan Chalk said. "And we're not able to diminish it the way we normally would with paychecks coming in."

Bryan is legally blind and has chronic pain after being hit by a car. He can't work and he can't drive. Mom Valorie must take Zoey to all her doctor's appointments.

It could be months before Valorie can return to work at Boeing. She's on unpaid leave, and in the meantime, the Chalks cringe with each bill.

Bryan spent the last $20 in his wallet on medication when Zoey finally left the hospital.

"It's a constant balance of good and bad," Bryan said. "But she's alive. And we couldn't be more happy for that."

If you'd like to help the Chalk family, you can do so through our Problem Solvers page