Kayla Hilton

Kayla Hilton
Survivor

My junior year of high school had just ended. I was at work when I developed a horrible headache. I left early and went home and took Ibuprofen and laid down. A few hours later I woke up and the pounding of the headache hadn’t gotten any better. I could not get rid of this headache for 5 days!

I went to my regular doctor and they did a chest x-ray on me. They said I had a small case of pneumonia so they prescribed me a Z-pak antibiotic. (Z-pak is a form of the antibiotic, azithromycin.) I took the antibiotic for 2 days and I was getting worse rather than better. I had a temperature of 105 for 3 days. (Sepsis and Pneumonia)

I decided to go back to my doctor only to be told just to go home and rest. Thank goodness I knew better and my mom took me to the ER. It was about 95 degrees outside and I was wrapped up in a quilt walking into the ER. I was immediately taken into the back and put on a breathing mask. My oxygen levels were dropping tremendously and they couldn’t keep my blood pressure up.

I was put to sleep and the doctors inserted a breathing tube down my throat because I couldn’t breath on my own at all. At this point I was on 100% life support. When they realized I had Sepsis, they told my family they didn’t know if I was going to make it or not.

I had to be air-lifted From Gaston Memorial Hospital to Levine Children’s Hospital because Gaston Memorial said they couldn’t do anything for me. Immediately when I landed at Levine, I had about 15 doctors around me. I was put to sleep during all of this but my mom told me everything. They even paralyzed my body while I was in the helicopter so I wouldn’t move. They told me I was coughing violently while I was put to sleep, so bad that every time I would cough, my back would arch way off the bed.

I immediately had a spinal tap, a pelvic exam, ultrasounds, blood work, (the list goes on) and the doctors still didn’t know what was going on.

My organs began to shut down and my body stopped producing blood. I had to get 2 bags of blood pumped in me and about 7 bags of fluid! I gained over 50 pounds while laying in a hospital bed from all the fluids and IVs.

I was asleep for over a week with the breathing tube in and was being fed through a tube in my nose, still on 100% life support. They had to wean me off of it by reducing it daily. I didn’t want to breath on my own.

Finally I woke up and was breathing completely on my own. They told me I was a miracle.

Thanks to my support system and all the prayers that went up for me, I made it!

I’m so beyond grateful for all the doctors that helped me and dedicated their time to me. They told me I was the sickest patient in the whole entire hospital!

God works in mysterious ways… I’m so thankful I’m still alive to tell my story today!