Staph Infection Hits Home To East Texas Family - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/21/07-Tyler

Staph Infection Hits Home To East Texas Family

For two days after her son had surgery on his back, Carmelia Freeman said her 11-year-old, Bryan Hunter, moved very little and was very pale.  She said she thought it was all a part of the recovery process.  Bryan was diagnosed with spina-bifida while Freeman was still pregnant with him.  It's a condition which effects the development of the spine.  

Bryan has been through his fair share of surgeries, but Freeman said this time was different.  

"The nurses were in and out, telling us, Carmel, something's not right," said Freeman.  "You're going to lose him if you don't get to the hospital."  Back into the hospital, again, doctors made a startling discovery.  

"They did a culture on him, and it came back [as] staph," said Freeman.  It was a staph infection, which complicated Bryan's condition even further, and it hit the family hard.  Freeman quit her job as a medical technician to care for Bryan, and now, antibiotics are crucial to Bryan's survival.  They are directly injected into his body every 12 hours through a tube.

"Because of the central line, we [and doctors] have chosen not to send him to school," said Freeman.  "We wanted to decrease the risk of spreading the infection."  Freeman said Bryan used to play baseball, too, but since the infection, he has not been able to do that either.  She said she has seen infections before in her profession, but now she is personally connected to it.

"When you have one that's your own, that already has problems, and [doctors] telling you if this unit of blood [doesn't] do it, our hands are tied, you kind of re-prioritize things," said Freeman.  "He's got dreams just like every body else does."  Freeman has had to reorganize her life, and she is wishing the best for her family and her son.

On Monday, Freeman and her son will be traveling to Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, where Bryan will undergo two more surgeries.  It will be three weeks before Bryan can come back home.

Layron Livingston, Reporting. llivingston@kltv.com 

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