Teenager was in coma after common ailment was left untreated – “I was going to lose my daughter”


Sometimes, we tend to ignore common ailments like colds and infections, thinking we will get better once they run their course. The story of this teenage girl is similar, however, what happened next was horrifying.

Keep reading to know more about this shocking story.

Katie Sullivan, an athletic 18-year-old who is a gymnast and plays freshman softball at Waynesburg University, was in a coma for a month. Her worried parents were beside themselves, thinking they would lose their beloved daughter.

“It was the most terrifying moment of my life. The most terrifying moment of my life to think I was going to lose my daughter,” her mother Shannon recalled.

A month after her coma, she is finally out of it. Katie Sullivan said about her ordeal, “I’m proof that miracles happen. My mom always tells me I’m a miracle because the doctors told her I probably wasn’t going to make it.” She went on to say, “I almost lost my life. I’m happy to be here,” she said.


The reason for the teenager’s condition was something incredibly common; a urinary tract infection (UTI)! The UTI went untreated and led to devastating consequences.

The teenager had been complaining of just one symptom: back pain. She had been complaining about the back pain for a month which her both she and her family associated the pain with her rigorous training to play softball and gymnastics.

She was celebrating Chirstmas with her family and then suddenly just a few days later, she was life-flighted to Allegheny General Hospital for extremely low blood pressure and high heartbeat.

At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a UTI and doctors informed her parents that is was critical.


“When they did the testing, they found she had a UTI for about a month that actually caused a hole in her kidney. It caused an abscess in her liver into her back muscle and behind her kidney. She was in septic shock,” her mother shared.

She was placed in a medically induced coma, and on a ventilator as she experienced brain swelling. She underwent several surgeries as well.

“This has been incredibly scary. Katie is not one to complain about much because she’s very athletic,” Katie’s father, Tim Sullivan, told the media when his daughter wound up in a coma.

Things looked bleak but then she started recovering. Her mother shared a few weeks ago about her daughter’s recovery, “For the first time today, I asked her if she wanted to go home, and she shook her head yes. Then they asked her if she was in pain, and she shook her head no. I told her if she wanted to go home she had to put a thumbs up, and she did. From not moving on Sunday, and telling us hour by hour, today is miraculous.”


While doctors say she has a long road to recovery ahead of her, her parents are hoping their little girl is back to playing softball soon.

Now, Katie is finally back at home and is almost fully recovered. “I was very excited to go home. I did not want to be in the hospital anymore. I was not happy to be there. I was there for too long,” she said.

Now she is hoping to get back to normal life and enjoy the activities she was involved in again. She said, “I am hoping to go back to Waynesburg as soon as I can, and play softball again, and have my old life back.”


After this ordeal, her parents have one message for everyone. Do not ignore back pain!

“Even if you think it’s nothing, please get it checked. Because never in a million years, and I’m a nurse practitioner, would I think she would be here with renal failure, intubated, and being given a dire diagnosis at 18,” her mother said.


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This is such a serious situation to think about. Something as common as a UTI turned into a life-threatening instance for this young woman. Share this to raise awareness about UTIs so others can always keep themselves in check as well.

The post Teenager was in coma after common ailment was left untreated – “I was going to lose my daughter” appeared first on Happy Santa.


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