Be sure to read my update at the bottom.    

Brandon  Cassel   

On June 4, 2002  meningococcemia, almost claimed the life of my six year old son Brandon  the bloodstream infection that is caused by a bacteria that can lead to meningitis.
En route to the emergency room his skin developed large, purplish patches. Doctors started ordering different types of test to try to find the cause     another doctor who had been studying the disease  recognized the rash
Fluids and antibiotics were given and he was transported to the Sparrow Regional Childrenís Center in Lansing, Michigan.

The rapid further spread of purple patches on the skin, including his fingers and feet were characteristic of purpura fulminous, clotting of the small arteries to all of those purple areas, triggered by the bacteria Neisseria meningitis. As the small arteries clot, the skin and organs become purple, lose their blood supply and die. As the bacteria grew and spread in his bloodstream, he went into septic shock.

Brandon was not only semi-comatose and in septic shock, but rapidly developing lung edema, respiratory failure, heart failure and acute kidney failure he was put on full life support. Once his lungs, heart function and kidney function normalized he was removed from life support.

He woke from his comma but his recovery was far from over he spent nearly the next 4 months  in the hospital 

During the last three and a half months of his hospitalization he underwent many  surgical procedures.

 The fingers of his left hand, his right index finger and his right foot were amputated. He had nine separate muscle flaps attached to areas that needed additional blood supply. In one instance his left hand was fastened to a muscle from his left thigh. He had separate skin grafts  to repair areas of his body that lost skin  (in some areas   down  to   the bone) as a result of lost circulation caused by the disease.  At one point leeches were actually applied to one of his flaps in order to keep the flap viable.

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Despite the devastating effects of his illness, Brandon isnít devastated. He never lost his positive spirit,  even when he was still in the hospital and a very sick child, he remained positive. Unlike the grownups around him, it never occurred to Brandon that he might not live.


Brandon won the first round of his fight and was able to go home in late, October 2002, and returned to school almost immediately.  Learning to use his hands again and strengthening new muscles to take the place of old ones has been difficult.   Most kids struggle with their zippers, buttons and shoelaces, but once these skills are mastered, they donít ever think about them again. Brandon has had to learn to do all of these things over again. He has  been  fitted with a prosthetic for his right foot and is walking, running and jumping on his own today,

He has been so amazing through all of this...a real champion
He doesn't ever really act like there's a problem. He's adapted really well.
He's an inspiration to everyone.

His Dad, Jerry



It has been three years since Brandon became ill from a deadly infection called meningococcemia One afternoon he came running off his bus into the house.
full of life happy singing dancing , with in 24 hrs he was in the ICU fighting for his life. The doctors said there was little to no chance of survival.
... Refused to give up he fought hard  for the next 43 hours.
The doctors said it was just too much for him, He had gone into respiratory failure,  near heart failure He was in septic shock the doctors had no choice but to put him on full life support.. After several days he  woke up by with in a couple days he was taken off life support , The doctors finally said the words we had been praying for, That he just might live. But the infection had spread through out his body caused  serious damage to his legs feet ,the  fingers  on his left hand were black from lack of blood flow,
.As the days went by little by little he got better ,finally after nearly a month in the ICU he finally got to go to the playroom
he was so happy and excited about that....


He continued to get stronger and better the doctor after 6 weeks the doctor felt he was well enough to leave the ICU but
he had along road ahead of him, He spent four more months in the hospital during that time he had several
operations he lost most of his fingers on his left hand, his right foot,
They worked with him every day in therapy to help him get stronger.


After he was well enough to leave the hospital he continued to get therapy every week


 each week he got stronger , stronger
Until he was able to stand on his own ., He was able to run dance jump and after two years he was discharged  


But just a few months later the doctors discovered he was having problems with the growth plates in his angle and arm.
They already did surgery on his leg, He is back in therapy
Will be having surgery on his left arm this coming week..... 
Through it all he has been so brave ,so strong ..a real champion,  He has been a inspiration to all..........
Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers!!


UPDATE: Also would like to update a little He is still getting therapy for his left leg they started electro therapy on him. to help his legs get stronger. He now has to wear a brace at night to help get his leg straight. 
Thanks for all your prayers and kindness 

Write Brandon's Mom, Diane

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Brandon Gets A Special Bike , Check it out >

Send A Note To Brandon

Dear Brandon, wow what a big boy you are on your new bike... God bless you little man. 


The song playing is at Brandon's request "Drifting Away"







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