Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brad's Story

Age 13

Akron Children's Hospital

Rheumatic Fever

The festivities of Brad’s 12th birthday were unfortunately accompanied by body aches and vomiting. His flu-like symptoms continued throughout the next few days to the point he could barely stand. When Brad’s mother finally rushed him to Akron Children's Hospital, doctors discovered he had contracted rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is a serious inflammatory disease caused by untreated or complicated cases of strep throat.

From the moment he was admitted, Brad’s life became a roller coaster as his body fought the deadly disease. At one point he went into full cardiac arrest and physicians decided to replace the aortic valve of his heart with a mechanical one. Thankfully, the risky surgery was a success and Brad’s body slowly began to recover.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Brad kept his spirits up. Even during his lowest moments he would ask his nurses how all the other patients were faring.

Brad continues to take specialized medication and makes regular visits to the hospital. Everyone is always happy to welcome him and his great big smile—a hallmark of his spirit and attitude toward life.

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