Chandler Yates, toxic shock syndrome

Chandler Yates Arkansas Childrens Hospital

Jonesboro, 17 years old

A few hours after Chandler Yates returned home from a Homecoming dance in October 2012, she became sick to her stomach.

After she fainted several times, her family took her to a local emergency room. Tests revealed she had sepsis, a bacterial infection that caused her blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels.

Chandler, then 16, was airlifted to ACH. After five days in the pediatric intensive care unit, doctors determined she had toxic shock syndrome, a severe disease that involves fever, shock and problems with several body organs. Chandler experienced kidney dysfunction, a collapsed lung and very low blood pressure.

Chandler remained at ACH for more than a week while doctors treated her with antibiotics to fight the infection.

“Watching Chandler being worked on by so many medical professionals and not knowing why she had become so ill in a matter of hours,” her mother says of the most difficult part of Chandler’s days at ACH. “The absolute worst part was being told by her doctors just how critical her situation was and the chance that she might not get better.”

But Chandler did get better and the toxic shock has left no permanent physical effects.

“Chandler does not have a lot of memory from her stay the first five-to-six days, but from what she remembers, she is so thankful for the nurses and doctors who saved her life,” mom Kelly King says.

Chandler enjoys dancing on her school’s dance team, singing, playing the piano and reading. Not long after she recovered from toxic shock, she won first alternate in her school’s sweetheart pageant.

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