Child With Flu Forced Quadruple Amputation

( – A Tennessee family recently faced a heart-wrenching decision, opting to amputate the limbs of their 14-year-old son, Mathias Uribe, in a desperate bid to save his life. The ordeal began in mid-June when Mathias developed symptoms resembling the flu.

Concerned, he visited a doctor twice, but the situation took a dire turn on June 30 when he experienced cardiac arrest and was rushed to the emergency room. In a GoFundMe campaign titled “#MiracleForMathias,” his family detailed his medical journey.

Mathias required life-saving interventions and was transferred between two hospitals. Doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), a rare but severe bacterial infection characterized by flu-like symptoms.

STSS can lead to low blood pressure, multiple organ failure, and even death. Mathias was placed on life support at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Nashville, where he was reportedly the most critically ill child at the time.

Fortunately, on July 12, signs of improvement emerged in Mathias’s heart and lungs, leading to the removal of life support. His family expressed the rollercoaster of emotions they had experienced over the past weeks, emphasizing Mathias’s resilience and positive qualities.

Described as a dedicated student excelling in academics, an athlete on his school’s cross-country team, and a passionate fan of soccer, football, and basketball, Mathias had ambitious dreams of attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to make a positive impact on the world.

After 20 days of treatment, doctors delivered the difficult news that Mathias’s extremities had suffered insufficient blood flow. To save his life, they had to amputate his left leg above the knee, his right leg below the knee, and both of his hands above the wrists.

Dr. Katie Boyle, who led Mathias’s medical team at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, described his condition as extremely rare and noted that while the flu can sometimes predispose individuals to bacterial infections, Mathias’s case was unusually severe.

Recent reports in May 2023 mentioned two other cases of children, a 9-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, who were diagnosed with STSS following influenza infections, underscoring the rarity of Mathias’s situation.

In their heartfelt message, the Uribe family acknowledged the challenging road ahead and the careful consideration taken before the amputation surgeries. They expressed their belief that this difficult decision would lead to a brighter future for Mathias. The family commended his strength, resilience, and unwavering courage, seeking support, love, and prayers as Mathias embarks on his journey of recovery.

They expressed gratitude to the medical team who guided them through the procedures and recovery process. Faith played a central role in their family, as they firmly believed in finding silver linings in life’s trials. They looked forward to Mathias embracing new possibilities with renewed vigor and determination as they continued to place their trust in God.