An eighth grader from Flint, Mich. is dead after what he and his family thought was a cold turned out to be a deadly sinus infection.
Marquel Brumley, 13, had a headache and cold symptoms when his family took him to urgent care in February, but they told People magazine Thursday, March 15 that despite doctors telling them his symptoms would clear on their own, they got worse. Marquel developed migraines that sent him back and forth to the emergency room.
Doctors gave the Mt. Morris School District football player over the counter medication but the symptoms persisted through March. It got to the point where Marquel’s face swelled up so much that he lost movement on the left side. An MRI scan revealed the true issue: a sinus infection had traveled to the teen’s brain and into his blood vessels through the bone.
“It was surreal,” said Marquel’s aunt, Nicole Alexander, of the illness that created potentially stroke-causing blood clots. “He was in a lot of pain, he was crying that his head hurt, and he was still talking to us. He would ask his mom if they were done with the tests because he just wanted to go home.”
While Marquel was rushed into surgery and doctors were able to control infection, the clots put pressure on the young boy’s brain, which led oxygen to be shut off. Marquel succumbed to complications from the infection, which rarely affects the brain, and died on March 11.
“He was my favorite person. Now he’s not gonna be here anymore,” Alexandria Brumley, Marquel’s sister, told WNEM Monday, March 12. “I feel like it’s not real. I feel like he’s gonna come back. But I know he’s not gonna come back.”
The family is now raising funds to pay for the late boy’s hospital bills, loss of income after his mom had spent every moment by her son’s side, and funeral costs.
And the community has come out in droves to support. In nine days, they’ve raised more than $17,000, surpassing their $10,000 goal.