Little-known fecal transplant cures woman's bacterial infection

Kaitlin Hunter says she is feeling much better after a fecal transplant "cured" her bacterial infection in her colon.

Story highlights

  • After surviving a car accident, Kaitlin Hunter battled a bacterial infection
  • Nine rounds of antibiotics failed to provide a cure
  • Hunter underwent a fecal matter transplant with material from her mother
  • Her doctor says gastroenterologists are "very excited" about the treatment
After surviving a near-fatal car accident, Kaitlin Hunter found herself battling a devastating bacterial infection in her colon that also threatened her life.
The persistent infection was beaten through a little-known technique involving the transplant of fecal matter from Hunter's mother, which put healthy bacteria back into her colon.
Following the July procedure, "I've been so happy," said Hunter, 20, of Marietta, Georgia. "I'm cured."
Her struggle began more than a year earlier when she was released from a hospital in Sacramento, California.
A June 2011 car accident fractured her lower spine, lacerated her liver and colon, and broke all 10 toes. Emergency crews used the Jaws of Life to cut Hunter from her dad's car, and then she was flown to the hospital, where she spent the next month.
Upon her release, Hunter flew home to Georgia. It hadn't been the summer vacation she imagined, but she thought she was getting better.
But "right when I got off the plane, I went to the hospital. I was having extremely bad stomach pain. A month later, we found out it was C. diff," Hunter said, using the abbreviation for the bacteria Clostridium difficile.
How it began