Boy, 14, forced to have hands and legs amputated after experiencing flu-like symptoms
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Featured Image Credit: WKYT
A 14-year-old boy has undergone hand and leg amputations after his initial typical flu-like symptoms rapidly worsened.
In mid-June, Mathias Uribe from Tennessee, US, became 'ill with flu-like symptoms' and was taken to the doctors twice.
However, by the end of June, he had to be rushed to the emergency room and his parents' 'world fell apart'.
On 30 June, Mathias' parents explained that his 'heart stopped' and he went into cardiac arrest.
The 14-year-old's GoFundMe page, set up by his parents, reads: "He needed life-saving support and was flown to two different hospitals.
Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) 'is a rare, but serious bacterial infection. STSS can develop very quickly into low blood pressure, multiple organ failure, and even death,' according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The 14-year-old was later transferred to the ICU at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, where he was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation - a life support machine.
"We were told he was the sickest child admitted at the time," Mathias' parents said.
Mathias' condition slowly improved, but after 20 days of 'intense treatment,' his parents were told 'his extremities had been compromised'.
Unfortunately, on 21 June, the medical team had to make the 'difficult decision' to amputate Mathias' left leg below the knee because his extremities didn't 'receive enough blood flow'.
Four days later, his left leg was amputated again, this time above the knee and his right leg below the knee.
On 1 August, both of Mathias' hands were amputated above the wrist.
Mathias' parents reflected on the decision to amputate the 14-year-old's hands and lower legs as having sent them into a 'whirlwind of emotions'.
However, they added: "We find solace in knowing that this decision was made after careful consideration and consultation with medical professionals who have his best interests at heart. While it is undoubtedly a challenging road ahead, we firmly believe that this surgery will pave the way for a brighter future for our son.
"Our son’s strength and resilience have always been an inspiration to us all. He has faced adversity with unwavering courage, and we have no doubt that he will continue to do so throughout this journey. We are in awe of his unwavering spirit and determination, which will undoubtedly guide him through the challenges that lie ahead."
"I told him we are going to be your arms and legs until we figure all of this out," his father told WSMV.
The GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Mathias' medical care - 'which will include therapies, interventions and prosthetics'.
The 14-year-old parents resolve: "During this time, we kindly ask for your support, love, and prayers. Your words of encouragement and positive energy will undoubtedly provide comfort and strength to Mathias as he prepares for this life-changing surgery. Let us come together as a community, united in love and compassion, to uplift him and our family during this difficult time.
"We also want to extend our deepest gratitude to the incredible medical team who will be guiding us through this process. Their expertise, care, and dedication are invaluable, and we are eternally grateful for their unwavering support.
"[...] Together, we can help him find the strength to overcome any obstacle that comes his way. Let us be the pillars of support he needs during this time, reminding him that he is loved beyond measure."
At the time of writing, Mathias' GoFundMe has currently reached $255,338 of its $500,000 target. You can donate here.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available through Mental Health America. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741.
You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline.