On March 16, 2004, I was 14 years old when in the evening I was working on a science project and suddenly got flu like symptoms, vomiting, headache and an upset stomach. I was sick all night and reassured my mom that it was just flu and I would be fine to take part in the science fair that afternoon at school. I was still sick that afternoon and into that evening of March 17th I started to vomit up a black substance. My mom phoned the Health Line, where the nurse told her to take me to the emergency. My temperature was around 102F; with my pajamas on we left for a 45 minute trip to the nearest hospital. When I arrived the nurses had a bunch of questions, I was fine for the first 10 minutes then I started getting confused and wasn’t sure what was going on anymore.
They admitted me that night, but very suddenly my blood pressure started getting extremely low and quickly got me into the Intensive Care Unit. Everything was happening so fast, that I don’t remember much except my mom being there. The next day they diagnosed me with Toxic Shock Syndrome. They told my parents that the only thing going for me was my age, anyone older probably wouldn’t survive. I spent 6 days in the ICU of just sleeping and being hooked up to a bunch of machines and getting daily blood work done. I finally woke up and realized what was going on, my eyes were bright red and had a rash. I had no energy at all, and even though I slept for 6 days, I was still extremely tired. As the days went by we finally thought I was getting better.
During the night, the nurse was doing her regular checks at the machine in my room with her flashlight. She went to the phone and another nurse came in. They hooked me up to oxygen and explained to my mom that my oxygen level was dropping. The next thing I knew I was getting into an ambulance, with a nurse along with me to keep an eye on my levels and with oxygen. We were off to a bigger hospital 2 hours away. I was given a scan to make sure there wasn’t a blood clot in my lungs. Gladly to say there wasn’t, I spent another 2 nights in the ICU and 7 days in a regular hospital room. After the 7 days, I returned back to the previous hospital. By the 5th day of being back at the hospital I started getting restless and wanted to go home. My doctor was concerned because my treatments were given through IV needles a couple times daily. He finally decided to let me go home with antibiotics to finish up for the next couple days.
Till this day I think of how lucky I am to have survived this.