A British teen nearly died after a common sinus infection traveled to his brain, his family says.
In September, then-14-year-old Sam Levitt fell ill with a sinus infection, experiencing “excruciating” headaches. Though he was prescribed antibiotics, he didn’t see any improvement, leading his mother, Lis, to take him to Sheffield Children's Hospital. There, Sam was reportedly given different antibiotics and was sent home.
But two days later, the teen’s condition took a turn for the worse. He suffered a seizure and was rushed back to the children’s hospital where it was initially suspected he was suffering from meningitis, South West News Service (SWNS) reported.
An MRI quickly revealed, however, that Sam’s sinus infection had spread to his brain. His brain was swelling and he required a craniectomy to relieve the pressure.
"It was so scary waiting for him to come out of the operation. Those hours were the worst of our lives,” recalled Lis, adding Sam was in a medically-induced coma for two days following the operation.
"Luckily they had put his skull back together during the operation, but he was left with quite a scar,” she continued. "We did not know what he was going to be like when he came round."
Thankfully, Sam seemed to be his old self after waking. He was hospitalized for 12 days in total but was eventually allowed to return home after “being pumped with antibiotics” during the remainder of his stay.
The once-active teen still “tires easily” following the near-death experience but is otherwise "pretty much back to normal,” said Lis.
"It all seems surreal what we have been through — there was no warning whatsoever,” she added.