You can never be too careful with your kids’ health — but in this case, it’s hard to imagine what else the parents could have done.
Mitchell Etherton, 14, was eating fried chicken at his dad’s house. It was a completely normal evening until, shortly after dinner, Mitchell became extremely ill. Even still, the reasonable conclusion was that the teenager had caught a bout of food poisoning.
According to Mitchell’s mom Sharon, “It wasn’t until the next morning when he saw that Mitchell’s legs were covered in a rash and had started to go purple, and he was saying that they hurt, that he realized it was something far more sinister.”
Mitchell was rushed to the hospital, where the family was told that what they thought had been food poisoning was actually a form of meningitis. The teen was immediately put into an induced coma as doctors rushed to stave off the potentially fatal disease.
The blood poisoning Mitchell suffered was already serious enough that he had to lose part of his leg and a thumb. His mother has become a full-time caretaker — Mitchell still suffers the effects of the disease. His still-intact right leg required skin graphs and surgery months after the initial scare.
But the family knows they were lucky. According to Sharon, “Despite him losing his limbs, we’re just glad he’s with us today — considering we were told he wouldn’t survive the first 24 hours.”