12-Year-Old Athlete With 'Heart Of Gold' Has Emergency Leg Amputation From Rare Infection

Brinley Hutson is a 12-year-old athlete with an inspiring amount of passion. But the Kansas child went through a horrible ordeal. She had her leg amputated in 2021.
It happened after Brinley was kicked in the leg while playing in a soccer tournament. While the injury was still healing, the same spot was hit by a softball. Brinley's leg got infected, and it wasn't healing with antibiotics. A few days later, doctors performed an emergency amputation to stop an infection that nearly killed her.

Family friend Brandie England said that when Brinley came out of surgery, her first thought was about sports. "Her identity is an athlete," she said in an interview. "And that was the first thing she was concerned about when she came to after surgery was that she would no longer be able to play sports."

While Brinley's life will undoubtedly be changed by the amputation, she has a world of support behind her. Her community is truly rallying. A GoFundMe page called BRINLEY STRONG, which will help with medical expenses, has been gaining traction online.

One of her teachers, Christy VanGassbeek, who taught Brinley in both first and fifth grades, says there's a good reason why her community is showing so much support. She says it's because that's who Brinley is and what she gives to the world on the regular. "She's competitive. She's so funny. And then she's the biggest cheerleader," she said. "She has a heart of gold."

For more Brinley's story, watch the video.

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