14-year-old pianist has hands and feet amputated after experiencing flu-like symptoms

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By VT

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In an emotionally-charged tale of survival against all odds, a 14-year-old boy from Tennessee underwent a life-changing ordeal after what seemed to be ordinary flu-like symptoms escalated into a life-threatening condition.

Mathias Uribe's parents, faced with an agonizing decision, opted for the amputation of all his hands and feet to save his life.

He was rushed to Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt on June 30, feeling gravely ill. What began as seemingly normal flu-like symptoms took a deadly turn. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, and even experienced cardiac arrest, as reported by WSMV.

In a desperate measure to keep him alive, Mathias was put on an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine, which circulated blood through his body for two weeks to allow his heart and lungs to recover.

"It saved his life," said his father, Edgar Uribe. But the treatment came at a cost: insufficient blood flow to his extremities compelled doctors to amputate his hands at the wrist and his legs below the knee.

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To date, Mathias Uribe has undergone more than a dozen surgeries and is expected to remain in hospital for about another month. Credit: GoFundMe

The heartbreak for the Uribe family is especially poignant given Mathias' active lifestyle. Before the illness, he was a cross-country runner, a soccer player, and a pianist.

Now, the family is exploring options for prosthetic limbs, with Edgar emotionally noting, “I told him we are going to be your arms and legs until we figure all of this out.”

Dr. Katie Boyle, the ICU pediatrician heading Mathias' care team, described the teenager’s rapidly deteriorating condition as "extremely rare." She advised parents to get their children flu shots and keep an eye out for concerning symptoms like high fever, trouble swallowing fluids, or an inability to wake from deep sleep, which should prompt immediate hospitalization.

To date, Mathias has undergone more than a dozen surgeries and is expected to remain hospitalized for another month. His family is considering a facility in Atlanta for his prosthetics and rehabilitation. "You are going to have an amazing life," his mother, Catalina Uribe, assured him, emphasizing that despite the hurdles, there are no limits for him.

Recognizing the mounting medical expenses, the Uribe family initiated a GoFundMe campaign that has so far amassed $267,755 to offset Mathias' medical costs.

This heart-wrenching episode serves as a poignant reminder of how quickly life can change and the importance of medical vigilance. As the Uribe family navigates this challenging journey, they provide a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. With community support and medical advancements in prosthetics, the Uribes are optimistic that Mathias will lead an active, fulfilling life once again.

Featured image credit: Vidal Balielo Jr. / Pexels

14-year-old pianist has hands and feet amputated after experiencing flu-like symptoms

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

In an emotionally-charged tale of survival against all odds, a 14-year-old boy from Tennessee underwent a life-changing ordeal after what seemed to be ordinary flu-like symptoms escalated into a life-threatening condition.

Mathias Uribe's parents, faced with an agonizing decision, opted for the amputation of all his hands and feet to save his life.

He was rushed to Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt on June 30, feeling gravely ill. What began as seemingly normal flu-like symptoms took a deadly turn. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, and even experienced cardiac arrest, as reported by WSMV.

In a desperate measure to keep him alive, Mathias was put on an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine, which circulated blood through his body for two weeks to allow his heart and lungs to recover.

"It saved his life," said his father, Edgar Uribe. But the treatment came at a cost: insufficient blood flow to his extremities compelled doctors to amputate his hands at the wrist and his legs below the knee.

wp-image-1263228507 size-full
To date, Mathias Uribe has undergone more than a dozen surgeries and is expected to remain in hospital for about another month. Credit: GoFundMe

The heartbreak for the Uribe family is especially poignant given Mathias' active lifestyle. Before the illness, he was a cross-country runner, a soccer player, and a pianist.

Now, the family is exploring options for prosthetic limbs, with Edgar emotionally noting, “I told him we are going to be your arms and legs until we figure all of this out.”

Dr. Katie Boyle, the ICU pediatrician heading Mathias' care team, described the teenager’s rapidly deteriorating condition as "extremely rare." She advised parents to get their children flu shots and keep an eye out for concerning symptoms like high fever, trouble swallowing fluids, or an inability to wake from deep sleep, which should prompt immediate hospitalization.

To date, Mathias has undergone more than a dozen surgeries and is expected to remain hospitalized for another month. His family is considering a facility in Atlanta for his prosthetics and rehabilitation. "You are going to have an amazing life," his mother, Catalina Uribe, assured him, emphasizing that despite the hurdles, there are no limits for him.

Recognizing the mounting medical expenses, the Uribe family initiated a GoFundMe campaign that has so far amassed $267,755 to offset Mathias' medical costs.

This heart-wrenching episode serves as a poignant reminder of how quickly life can change and the importance of medical vigilance. As the Uribe family navigates this challenging journey, they provide a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. With community support and medical advancements in prosthetics, the Uribes are optimistic that Mathias will lead an active, fulfilling life once again.

Featured image credit: Vidal Balielo Jr. / Pexels