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Brantley's Story   — Andrea Mensing, WI, USA

My son, Brantley, was 3 weeks old when suddenly he stopped moving his right elbow and screamed at the slightest touch. I discovered this on a Friday and brushed it off as a fluke. I thought maybe he slept funny or I was just being a paranoid first time mommy. I took him to his grandparents until Sunday and they said it was progressively getting worse. I scheduled a doctor's appointment Monday and we were seen right away. My doctor took a look and thought his elbow was dislocated, also known as nurses' aid elbow. He tried getting it back in place and had to call in another doctor, meanwhile my son is turning purple he's screaming so hard. They were unsuccessful. They couldn't figure it out. My doctor then sent us to Rochester, Minnesota to see a special orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Hospital. They did an MRI and some blood tests. That day we were admitted to the hospital because the labs came back with an infection of some sort. The next day the labs came back and Group B Strep was the diagnosis. They also called it Septic Arthritis. Somehow his little immune system fought the infection out of his blood and it all pooled in his elbow, like a big zit that needed to be popped. Surgery was the only option. They had to go in first to triple check that this was the issue, then again the next day to clean it all out and put the picc line in for the antibiotics he had to be on to help get rid of any trace of infection. All of the doctors were dumbfounded by the diagnosis because I not only tested negative once for GBS but twice! He's a one in a million baby to get it as I tested negative two times. They sent us home after living at the hospital for 8 days and a few scary nights of breathing issues. We were sent home and now I had to be nurse mommy. I was in charge of giving him the strong antibiotics through the picc line that essentially killed what immune system he had left for 12 days. We were home ridden because any little infection could've been deadly. I got a call from the surgeon a few days later saying that Brantley was a lucky little boy. All the testing was finished in detail and had I waited ONE more day this would've been a completely different story. He had small traces of meningitis in his blood, not enough to be an issue and the antibiotics would kill any off, but it would've killed him if I had waited that one day. Holy wow was I in shock. Brantley is now an amazingly brilliant little 8 month old. He's surpassing milestones with no issues from his elbow. He has a little scar from the surgery and a tiny scar from the picc line on his left shoulder. I am so proud of my little angel and thank God for every day he is alive.

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