by Kate Snider
Fifteen-year-old Brenden Haas had been vomiting regularly for 7 months when he collapsed at his home.
At the beginning of his illness, Brenden’s stomach didn’t feel right and he began vomiting in the morning. When it became apparent that his vomiting wasn’t because of the flu, his parents took him to a doctor. After weeks of visiting a handful of doctors and trying a variety of treatments, Brenden was sick of being sick.
When Brenden collapsed, his mother, Anita, checked his vitals and Brenden was rushed to the ER. As soon as they arrived, Anita asked for a CT scan (computerized tomography). Anita knew to ask for a CT scan because before Brenden’s collapse she noticed Brenden was walking crooked and his eyes drifted away when he should have been looking at her.
In the ER, the doctors told Brenden’s parents that there was a large area of concern shown on the CT scan: Brenden had a brain tumor. After brain surgery, he was referred to Mary Free Bed by his doctors at Bronson Methodist Hospital.
At first he couldn’t eat and he didn’t talk for 3 months. Brenden had to relearn how to use the left side of his body. At Mary Free Bed, Brenden was treated with physical, occupational and speech therapy. He had to learn to dress himself, brush his teeth and walk again.
“The doctors and therapists are very knowledgeable and genuine. We’ve developed relationships with them and it will be sad to leave,” Anita said.
Brenden finished his inpatient therapy at Mary Free Bed but he is still working to regain the skills he had before his brain tumor. After finishing the rest of his chemotherapy, he will participate in physical, occupational and speech therapy 4 days a week all summer.
Read more about Brenden’s story: