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Boy Overcomes Rare Virus, Takes Home Run Lap at Dragons Game
DAYTON -- Like many other 8-year-olds on a car ride home, Ethan and his brother were in the back seat of the family car horsing around. Once they got home, though, Ethan began complaining about his stomach hurting. As the evening progressed, so did his symptoms. Ethan’s stomach pain got worse, he became nauseated and extremely weak, and his legs began to ache.
At first, Ethan’s parents thought it was food poisoning, but the pain continued to get worse over the next few days. It was so bad that even touching Ethan’s legs made him scream in excruciating pain. His parents took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with an extremely rare virus called viral myositis with rhabdomyolysis. This condition involves a rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle due to injury to muscle tissue. The breakdown of the muscles clogs the kidneys and can result in kidney failure.
Doctors said the virus had to run its course. During the 33 days that Ethan was in the hospital he endured dialysis, blood transfusions, a PIC line and even a trache. In addition, Ethan had the highest CPK (creatine phosphokinase) level on record in the world of almost 700,000 micro grams per liter. Normal levels are less than 200 micro grams per liter. Not only is this the highest CPK level ever recorded, but no one had ever survived at levels this high.
“I don’t remember everything about my time in the hospital, but I recall seeing balloons, cards and my family praying,” Ethan said. “My family is awesome. And the doctors and nurses that helped me always told me jokes to make me laugh.”
Ethan exceeded every expectation his doctors had for him. When Ethan arrived at the hospital he was experiencing paralysis in his lower legs. But thanks to the care he received and his hard work, he was able to walk out on his own.
Ethan’s rehab enabled him to rejoin his basketball team for their end-of-season tournament game. Everyone at the game wore bracelets bearing his favorite Bible verse to support Ethan.
Ethan has made a full recovery from the virus and is now in the sixth grade at Northmoor Elementary School. Ethan’s favorite subjects are math and science and he is active in basketball, football, and his youth group. Someday, Ethan hopes to become a professional football or basketball player.
On Wednesday, he took a symbolic home run lap around the bases of Fifth Third Field during a sold-out Dragons game while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. The home run trot came courtesy of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's Home Run for Life program.
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