Levi "Buzz" Harras

Born March 26th, 1991

 

 

On December 12th of 2003, I had taken Buzz to the doctor for his immunizations.  I had noticed a bump about the size of a quarter on the left side of his forehead that morning and so when we got to the doctor I asked him to check it just to be sure.  He said "no worries"  and gave us the immunizations.  We went home and on Monday morning the 15th when Buzz woke up I noticed the bump again and it was huge.  Starting to take an oval shape and protruding like a golf ball sticking out of his head.  I immediately called the doctor and he said he was booked but just "watch the bump"  and if it doesn't go away in the next day or two call back.  Well I called the very next morning and they said I could bring him in Thursday.  I took him at our scheduled time on Thursday and his eyes had become glossy he was having horrible headaches and fever and they did end up doing a CT scan, said we had a sinus infection, gave us a nasal spray and antibiotic and sent us home.  When we arrived home, I noticed his fever was getting worse and worse and before I could give him anything to bring the fever down, he had fallen asleep.  Since we had just come from the doctor and this did not appear to be life-threatening, I let him sleep.  The next morning I checked him before I went to work.  His fever was gone and I left him sleep.  My daughter Brittany called me at work and said Buzz can't move and he has this horrible head ache.  Somehow he had managed to take 6 baths trying to get some pressure off and relieve some of the pain.  I immediately called the doctor and told him our symptoms he said bring him at 2:30 and we will do an actual influenza test.  The flu in our area was pretty severe last year so I felt like since he had seen him the night before and didn't seem too worried this was still something controllable and we were going to get through this.  It would be ok.  Once we arrived at the doctors office, immediately upon seeing Buzz he said we should go to ER for spinal tap.  So we drove next door went to ER and the tap was performed almost immediately.  Of course the result was positive but they didn't seem to concerned with it and said no problem.  Started us on an antibiotic and said we would be out of here by Monday.  Home in time for Christmas.  I'm looking at my son thinking there is no way that is going to happen but just get us better.  They treated my daughter and I both with some form of medication as well.  This night which seemed to go on forever was the beginning of a true nightmare.  Saturday morning when Buzz woke, he could not speak.  All he could do was hold his hand at the left side of his head.  The bump was still there and he was deteriorating quickly.  They just kept shooting him with morphine and knocking him out.  Clearly his mental status was gone.  Sunday the 21st he had no idea who I was, where he was or what was even going on so I begged them to please send us somewhere that someone could help us.  Finally we were transferred to Children's Hospital.  By this time on top of the sinus infection and meningitis he had developed pneumonia.  After a short time of our arrival at Children's he was taken in for emergency brain surgery and sinus surgery also.  While trying to prep him for surgery in the 10 minutes they had been given, his veins were just bursting, no blood could be drawn and he was losing his vitals.  Fortunately he did make it through surgery.  I was told later that he had lost his vitals quit breathing and turned blue during surgery however he must still have some work here to do because he made it back.  We remained in PICU for 9 days.  Our first response being three seizures on Christmas Eve.  The recovery has been a very long road and some days are still a struggle.  Buzz is still taking oral medications and was on IV's at home for four months.  He had a nurse coming twice a week and lots of therapy.  We are so fortunate to be where we are today and thank God each day for our second chance.  Buzz is back in school full days and doing well.  We are hopeful for a complete recovery.  Buzz gets very frustrated sometimes because he forgets and his words cross every once in awhile.  He has had lots of speech therapy and we will continue to get any treatment needed for a full recovery.  We have read stories of the other earthbound and heaven bound angels and reading those stories helped us a lot.  Just to learn and educate ourselves has helped us.  We pray for each family that has been stricken with this horrific disease no matter the outcome.  Thank You for hearing our story and may God Bless each of you.  We are so glad for Buzz to be part of this and will continue to educate ourselves.  Please feel free to contact us @ scaryhd@msn.com.  Buzz loves to meet new friends and looks forward to any response.
 
Lisa Harras
 
P.S. Frankie, thank you for all you do.  I am really wanting to find a local organization in relation to this where I could donate my time, maybe talk to others about this.  As I mentioned before it was so hard to face this but I feel I am ready.  The worst is behind us and Thank you again.  God Bless you.  Please let me know what you do with this and I will send you a picture when my daughter gets home from school.  Happy Holidays.
 
Lisa

 

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