This I Believe

Seth - St. Joseph, Missouri
Entered on May 20, 2007

2 years ago, my brother, Reese, was a junior at Central High School. He was ranked at the top of his class, participated in various clubs, and was apart of the soccer and tennis teams. He was very friendly and well-liked around the school. Nothing bad could happen to him right?

At a soccer tournament down in Rockhurst, my brother ran down the field after the ball when he felt a slight pull in his hamstring. Reese was quickly taken out of the game and was stretched out by the trainers. After arriving home, things began to get worse and he could hardly bend his leg. To take the necessary precautions, my parents and I took him to Heartland Medical Center to see what might be wrong with his leg.

The doctors then told me that Reese had torn his hamstring and that he might be depressed because he stayed home for a two week period. We treated his leg with ice and tried to have him stretch out his leg so he could begin to get full range of motion in his leg once again.

My mom, crying her eyes out, told Heartland that something else was wrong with him because he was not acting like himself. We rushed him back to Heartland to get more tests taken. The doctor came back out and gave us the shocking news. A staph infection had appeared in every organ system. Reese was dying right before our eyes. Heartland felt that it was best to admit Reese to Children’s Mercy down in Kansas City.

Once I arrived there, I was told that if he doesn’t get prepped for surgery, my brother will die. Reese might not make it through surgery because he had no clotting factors left in his blood. The staph infection was eating away all the iron in his blood so no more blood could be formed. I couldn’t describe how I felt that day when I heard that. How could something like this happen to someone like my brother?

Reese came out of the surgery fine and I was more than relieved. Reese didn’t look like himself after that, but he knew that he was heading in the right track. There were 6 more surgeries after that to clean and remove infections from his thigh. Reese was a patient of Children’s Mercy for 30 days and battled it out every second he was there. The odds were against him and he fought like no one I had ever seen before. I admire my brother for his courage and determination.

Although Reese had permanent damage to his heart and thigh, he slowly regained strength in his leg after intense physical therapy. He made up all of his school work that he missed and still remained at the top of his class. Never give up hope, because there is always a way to win the battle. Through Reese’s example, we should all have the determination to fight when the odds are against us and prove that we can overcome even the biggest obstacles in life. This I believe.