“In the most severe cases, injury to the brain from inflammation can result in a coma or death”
Lance was diagnosed with encephalitis, a rare condition characterized by inflammation of the brain likely caused by a viral infection. Lance spent days that turned into weeks on bed rest in the ICU receiving care for his illness. Patients with encephalitis need everything from breathing assistance and careful monitoring of heart function to IV fluids and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and pressure within the skull. Lance’s extensive hospital stay was coupled with rigorous inpatient rehabilitation to improve his strength, flexibility, balance, motor coordination and mobility. Encephalitis can cause flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, severe headaches, confused thinking, seizures, and problems with senses or movement. In the most severe cases, injury to the brain from inflammation can result in a coma or death. Lance’s family knows to stay vigilant in case any other complications arise from his illness. These symptoms include unrelenting fatigue, weakness or lack of muscle coordination, personality changes, memory problems, paralysis, hearing or vision defects, and speech impairments. They could persist for months or be permanent.
According to his Child Life Specialist, Lance has worked tirelessly “with a smile on his face and a willing attitude to rehabilitate” in his efforts to make a full recovery. “He is such a sweet, selfless kid, and he was so very pleased to have been celebrated as a Hero,” said Lance’s mom, Sarah. “It was such a reward after the long hard weeks we had while Lance was in the hospital,” she continued. After all that he has been through, the 13 year old is now finally returning to his normal life and slowly but surely getting back into his regular routine.
It is with great pride that we honor Lance’s resilience by recognizing him as Kids Wish Network’s along with Primary Children’s Hospital’s Hero of the Month. Congratulations, Lance!