A 14-year-old boy’s usual flu-like symptoms abruptly became fatal, forcing his parents to make the agonizing decision to amputate all of their son’s hands and feet.
Tennessee resident Mathias Uribe has been a patient at the Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for more than two months after being taken there on June 30 while experiencing a life-threatening illness.
According to WSMV, the man suffered from pneumonia, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, and cardiac arrest.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was used to keep Mathias’ blood flowing throughout his body for two weeks while his heart and lungs rested. It saved his life, but doctors had to amputate the teen’s extremities because enough blood wasn’t getting to them.
His legs were severed below the knee and his hands were severed at the wrist.
Mathias’ family hopes that their son, who ran cross country, played soccer and played piano, can soon leave the hospital with new prosthetic limbs.
“I told him we are going to be your arms and legs until we figure all of this out,” his father, Edgar Uribe, told the outlet.
The director of Mathias’ care team and an ICU pediatrician, Dr. Katie Boyle, advised Mathias’ parents that there was nothing they could do to prevent the amputation of their son’s hands and feet.
She described Mathias’ quickly deteriorating condition as “extremely rare.” “Getting the flu can occasionally predispose you to a bacterial infection. Even so, most children do not become as ill as Mathias did.
Boyle advised parents to give their kids flu shots and to keep an eye out for signs like a high fever, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty awakening from a deep sleep that should prompt a trip to the hospital.
Mathias has had over a dozen operations so far. According to his parents, he is anticipated to stay in the hospital for an additional month.
They claimed to be looking into a facility in Atlanta where he will get prostheses and start getting rehabilitated.
“You are going to have an amazing life,” Catalina Uribe said she told her son. “You are going to go to MIGT. You are going to do whatever you want to do. You don’t have limits because you are here Mathias, you are here.”
The Uribes launched a GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $235,000 to help cover the teen’s medical costs