Franklin Teen Receives Treatment in Arkansas

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A 14 year old Franklin High School freshman, battling a staph infection, remains in stable condition.
Tyler Varvel was taken to St. Joseph on Sunday after complaining of a sore throat. His aunt said after his condition worsened, he was taken by helicopter late Sunday to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin.

Tyler was transported to the Arkansas Children's Hospital Thursday to receive specialized oxygen treatment.

Doctors said Tyler's lung partially collapsed. He was on a ventilator, and underwent a procedure to open his lungs. One of the doctor's main concerns for Tyler is pneumonia.

Doctors said his type of staph infection is not a public health concern.

Staph infection is a type of bacteria that can live harmlessly on the surface of the skin, especially around the nose, mouth, and pelvic area. Experts say the bacteria becomes life threatening when around broken skin.

"As long as we carry it on our skin or on our person and we're healthy we don't have a problem. The problem comes when there's a break in the skin, an insect bite, a surgery," said Jan Shay with St. Joseph Hospital.

Some precautions to take against staph infection include encouraging your children to wash hands before using the restroom and eating. Make sure to discourage students from exchanging clothing, pencils, food, etc. Also, treat all open wounds appropriately.

Franklin school district officials said all precautions have been taken to prevent the spread of diseases on all campuses.

If you'd like to help the family, a fund has been set up at First State Bank in Franklin.