High School Sports Participant has arms and legs amputated following rare influenza complexity. According to his parents, Edgar and Catalina Uribe, Mathias Uribe was a healthy 14-year-old boy looking forward to his freshman year of high school, when he hoped to join the cross-country team and keep playing the piano.
Things changed in late June when Mathias showed signs of the flu, including a high temperature. The end of June saw Mathias’ condition rapidly deteriorate, causing his parents to take him to a nearby emergency room.
They were informed that he had developed pneumonia from his flu and was now hypoxic, which meant his body was not receiving enough oxygen. Mathias had no underlying medical issues and experienced a heart attack shortly after.
Mathias was taken from their neighborhood hospital in a Nashville, Tennessee, suburb to a bigger hospital after physicians could revive him. He had to be moved again from there, this time to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, where he could get the most critical care.
Mathias was intubated and placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO machine) for two weeks. An ECMO machine removes carbon dioxide from the blood and sends blood with oxygen back to the body, pumping that blood through the body and giving the heart and lungs time to rest and heal.
While Mathias initially had the flu, according to Dr. Katie Boyle, a pediatrician and co-leader of his medical team at Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, his condition quickly deteriorated when he got bacterial pneumonia and an invasive streptococcal infection. Boyle claims that Mathias subsequently experienced septic shock and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome is a situation when a person’s tissues and organs are deprived of sufficiently oxygenated blood due to a severe immune response to the bacteria’s toxins. The body’s response to an infection, known as sepsis, can result in tissue damage, organ failure, and even death.
The discovery that Mathias’ hands and legs had suffered irreparable harm due to the blood flow disturbance posed additional challenges. According to Boyle, the adolescent has undergone 14 surgeries to date in an effort to preserve as much function as possible despite losing both of his hands below the elbow and both of his lower legs—one below the knee and one above—after amputation.
The Uribes claimed to be astounded at Mathias’ resilience, both emotionally and physically, in light of the challenges his body has faced. To give Mathias perspective on how far he has gone, Edgar Uribe claimed that he and his wife had told him how dangerously ill he was. He claimed that as a family, they are going forward with their “new life.”
He is still recovering from surgery in the intensive care unit, but, according to Boyle, he will soon be transferred to a rehab facility. Then, in order to help him reclaim his freedom, prostheses will be fitted for him.
The Uribes claimed that in addition to Boyle and his staff of doctors and nurses at the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Mathias’ friends and classmates, his school, the Uribes’ relatives and family, and the local community all provided support for them throughout Mathias’ medical care.
Friends of the family launched GoFundMe to help pay for Mathias’ prosthetics, rehabilitation treatment, and remodeling to make their home wheelchair accessible. To date, GoFundMe has raised over $300,000. They said that Mathias will definitely stand up from here; we’re positive about it. He will attend rehabilitation. He will receive his prostheses and make a truly magnificent contribution to society.
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