On the Flip Side…

While I try to keep this blog light and lively, I also try to keep it informative.  You ‘hear’ about people in the news or stories of a ‘friend of a friend’ and think that doesn’t happen in your town for whatever the case may be.  I am here to repost a story of a young woman whose life has just been cut short here in our little local Oregon area.  Her life has not ended in the typical fashion that you hear for most teens; there wasn’t drug abuse, or hanging out with the wrong ‘crowd’ and committing crimes, teen pregnancy or reckless driving.

This was a medical misdiagnosis.

This family needs your prayers and they need your strength and thoughts to help them through what has become of their beautiful daughter who had the world ahead of her at a mere 17 years of age cut short.  Read, learn, and even if you are a stranger your thoughts and prayers can help this family.

Here is her story…

I am barely 17 years old and was full of life. I had been looking into what college I wanted to attend and was considering a career as a photographer. I have always loved little kids and had hoped to one day work with children and photograph all their cute little faces. Then on December 19th my life was changed forever, here is my story:

I found a bump in my left armpit that was red and tender, I showed it to my mom and we agreed it was probably just an ingrown hair and that we would just keep an eye on it for a few days. I few days passed and the bump was now the size of a baseball and I couldn’t put my arm down because of the pain. On December 19th I went to the local ER and the doctor on staff lanced my “bump” and drained the puss and fluid. He assured me that it was indeed an ingrown hair and that I should be better in a couple of days.

A couple of days later I told my mom that I was having a hard time breathing, my mom then took me back to the same hospital where the doctor diagnosed me with Bronchitis and told me to rest for a few days and then check back with my regular doctor if I wasn’t feeling better in a week. The next day I was taken by ambulance to the hospital because my ability to breathe had gotten worse, also a few black/grey spots started to appear on my big toe and on the bottom of my feet. The doctor asked me if I was a needle drug user and although I told him that I was not, they continued to profile me as a drug user and again sent me home without any explanation as to why I was having these symptoms.

It is now the 24th of December, I am still having issues breathing and my big toe is twice its normal size and black all over. There were more spots showing up on my feet and we decided it was time to take me to a different hospital that was almost an hour away just to see if I could get some better care. The doctors at this hospital told me that they were going to call the hospital that had been seeing me the last few days and request that they run some cultures on the blood samples they took from me over a week ago. These doctors were pretty confident that I had a staff infection called MRSA and that I would need a very special antibiotic to clear up the infection.

On December 27th I was back in the hospital, I had not eaten in over a week and was still having problems breathing. The blood culture had come back that I did indeed have MRSA. The problem was that MRSA had went untreated for so long that the bacteria was now in my blood stream and was effecting my heart. I was airlifted to Doernbecher Medical Center for Children in Portland OR where I was to undergo a series of antibiotics to hopefully get rid of this bug that had taken over my body.

After a few days in the PICU I was moved to a regular hospital room as I seemed to be responding well to the antibiotics. I continued to complain about pain in my chest and after an ultrasound of my heart was completed, it was found that I had a substantial amount of fluid buildup that would need to be drained. A stint was placed in my chest and fluid was drained off my heart for several days.

On Monday January 2nd 2012 I told a friend of mine that was visiting that I was very cold and then I went into a seizure and was rushed away by a team of doctors to the operating room to remove what they assumed to be a blood clot in my heart. After opening me up the surgeons found that my heart was covered in the MRSA bacteria and as they began to scrape the bacteria away, my aorta in my heart burst open and I was bleeding out on the operating table. After 45 minutes of very little oxygen to my brain the surgeons were able to take a vein from my leg and hook me up to a bypass machine while they spent the next 6 hours trying to close the hole in my heart and stop the bleeding. My family was contacted in the waiting room and told they should prepare themselves for the worst.

After 8 hours of surgery the surgeons were able to stitch my chest back together and send me to a recovery room to be with my family. Then the truth about my condition was explained to my family and friends.

I suffered tremendous brain damage and at least 50% of my brain was dead tissue. My family was told that I will likely lay in a vegetative state for the rest of my life. The only part of my brain that was not damaged was the very center where my brain tells my lungs to breathe and my heart to beat. I lay lifeless in a hospital bed. This is my new life, this is the new Brianna that my family was left with.

I was a good kid with a great future, I like many teenagers had big plans for my life and never in my wildest dreams would have thought I wasn’t going to be able to see my dreams come true.

My name is Brianna Brooke Wheaton and this is my story.

Here is the update we just received from our pastor’s family forwarding along the message from Brianna’s parents:

Update: We received the worst news possible today…It was determined by a team of neurologists that Brianna has made her “full” recovery. With the brain damage she experienced..it is unlikely that after 5 weeks into her healing process we will see any new developments. The neurologists explained that Brianna was left with just a brain stem and that her brain is completely damaged…the undamaged tissue is useless to her since the damaged tissue is so dominant. We plan on still trying to get Brianna into rehab. Mostly so we can learn how to give her the best life possible.

Please forward and ask our church to pray. I’m speechless.

A donation site has been set up, the family needs to cover current and future medical expenses with the goal being $100K. Brianna is brain-dead and the family still has medical care that they need to provide her at this time.  Please visit http://www.giveforward.com/blessingsforbrianna if you are able to contribute and if you cannot your prayers are always appreciated.

Thank You.


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