DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - Of all the things that could have happened to her teenage son, Teresa Adkins never considered a stroke. But she advises other parents to pay attention to unusual symptoms.
Her son Kody was an athletic teenager who enjoyed being outdoors. But about a year ago his temperature climbed to 104 degrees and wouldn't budge.
As a certified nursing assistant, Adkins tried everything she knew to bring it down, but he only grew weaker.
Then Kody fell in the bathtub at their home in Marianna, Florida, and fluid started building up on his knee.
Adkins took Kody to her doctor, who made the unusual decision to have him undergo a cardiac scan.
The scan detected a staph infection in his heart that is both contagious and difficult to treat with traditional antibiotics.
At some point in this process, his doctors believe a piece of the infection broke off, entered his bloodstream and went to Kody's brain, causing a stroke that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
The 14-year-old was airlifted by helicopter to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola for open heart surgery.
It was the scariest ride of his life, Kody admits now. He was close to dying before his 16th birthday.
The operation to remove the infection was a success, but recovery has been agonizingly slow, especially for a teenager.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)