After a deadly outbreak of the flu virus took over the country this winter, it has become especially important to take care of your health. But one family in Michigan is facing a tragedy that no flu shot could have prevented. A thirteen year old boy has died weeks after what seemed like a common cold progressed into an infection in his brain. Marquel Brumley’s family says the eighth grader first started getting headaches and cold symptoms in February and he was treated at a local urgent care clinic, where he was diagnosed with a “viral infection” that doctors said would clear on its own.
But Marquel’s health continued to get worse, and he began experiencing migraines painful enough to warrant multiple trips to the emergency room. Still, doctors sent him home with over-the-counter pain medications.
Last week, the young boy’s headaches became even stronger and his face began to swell. With his left eye nearly swollen shut and the entire left side of his face appearing to droop down, his mother rushed him to the emergency room. An MRI of his brain revealed the real cause of his symptoms: Marquel had a sinus infection that traveled into his brain’s blood vessels, and formed blood clots that caused him to have strokes.
“It was surreal,” Marquel’s aunt, Nicole Alexander, told People. “He was in a lot of pain, he was crying that his head hurt, and he was still talking to us. He would ask his mom if they were done with the tests because he just wanted to go home.”
While the doctors were able to control the infection during emergency surgery, the blood clots placed too much pressure on Marquel’s brain and cut off the oxygen supply. Unable to recover from the surgery, the teen died from complications of the infection on March 11.
Now, his family wants to warn others about the unexpected way Marquel lost his life. “If we can raise awareness so other people don’t go through this, it’s worth it. You don’t expect to lose somebody you care about and love so much from something as simple as a sinus infection,” Alexander said. “You just don’t.”
If you’d like to help Marquel’s family, they are accepting donations to help cover his medical expenses on their GoFundMe page.