A schoolboy has been dubbed a 'medical miracle' after defying the odds and surviving swine flu, sepsis and multiple organ failure.
Robert Brennan, 14, was placed in intensive care a few days after catching what he thought was a simple cold.
Doctors told his family to prepare for the worst and even gave his mum, Mel, the option of turning off his life support machine, StokeonTrentLive reports.
Robert, of Alsager , Staffordshire, had tested positive for swine flu, which led to multiple other infections, including sepsis and pneumonia, and ultimately organ failure.
So when he did recover to the extent that he could return home and start back at Alsager High School, astounded doctors described him as a ‘medical miracle’.
Mel, 40, said: “He started off with a cold a few days before Christmas, but he went downhill and I ended up calling an ambulance on Christmas morning. We took him to Leighton Hospital, his breathing was not good and he had sepsis and pneumonia.
"They put him in a coma and sent him to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He was on life support for 17 days. He had swine flu. The doctors said it was one of the worse cases they had seen.
“It got to the point where the doctors told us he would not make it. We were just living hour by hour, we just had to hope for the best.
“Robert went into multiple organ failure, and as a result his kidneys were damaged permanently. He also developed an aneurism in his aorta.
“Then when they did a CT scan they found there was some brain damage.
“When he came round the doctors were going up to him to say, ‘we are astounded’. He was known as the medical miracle. They were shaking his hand and saying he had taught them a lot.
“They were so confident he wouldn’t make it at one point they asked me if I wanted to turn off the life support machine.”
Robert, who has a brother, Oliver, eight, a step sister, Chloe, 11, and two step-brothers, Ashley, 10, and seven-year-old Alex, was finally discharged from hospital in April. He has now even returned to school, on a part-time basis.
Mel, who was supported throughout by partner John Lockett, 34, said: “It has affected his memory a bit and we have noticed a slight change in him, but to talk to him, you wouldn’t know. It’s just little things.
“He’s trying to do all the things he could do before, but he can’t yet.
“He was only discharged at the end of April. He is in Year 10 and had started his GCSEs, but he’s missed such a lot of work – he was in a coma for seven weeks.
"When he came round, I said, ‘how much do you want to know’? He said, ‘everything’.”
Robert, who plays guitar and has ambitions of becoming a professional musician, said: “It has not really hit me as hard as it did my mum. I can laugh about it now.
"It’s great being back at school and seeing all my mates. My teachers have been asking me about it. I have been telling them that I’m lucky to be alive."
Now Robert has been nominated for the StokeonTrentLive' s Our Heroes award, as Child of Courage, by family friend Lorraine Standring, of Alsager. She said: “Robert fought and fought with determination to get back on road to recovery.
“Robert won the hearts of the community. He is very strong willed and even though he has been weak and poorly he has always had a smile on his face.”
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