Amber Coon wins battle with sepsis

Senior+Amber+Coon+during+her+fight+with+sepsis+at+St.+John%27s+Hospital.

Sonja Coon

Senior Amber Coon during her fight with sepsis at St. John's Hospital.

By Hannah Reichert, Meridian Senior High School - IL

On Feb. 8, senior Amber Coon noticed her shoulders, back, and neck felt tight and like she could not move well. On the morning of Feb. 10, at 4:30 a.m., Coon was rushed to the hospital after she woke up and noticed she could only move her fingers and toes. Her dad, Justin Coon, and mom, Sonja Coon, then took her to the Emergency Room.

“It was all almost like a dream because doctors were coming in and out and nurses and they had no idea what was going on,” Sonja Coon said. “They took her for cat scans and had electrocardiograms on her and strep, pneumonia, you know all of the normal tests, and they ruled all of those out off the bat.”

The doctors then went on to look at the gallbladder, kidneys, internal organs to see if anything caused an infection. Her white cell count was over 17,000 and it was supposed to be between 5,000 and 10,000, that is how they found out that Amber Coon had sepsis.

“I was treated for sepsis which is an infection of the blood that paralyzed me for a few days,” Amber Coon said.

She was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit at Decatur Memorial Hospital and her blood pressure dropped dangerously low.

“We almost lost her a few times, they had a hard time keeping her blood pressure up and keeping her stable,” Sonja Coon said. “After like the fourth time, we said that’s enough and we wanted her transferred.”

Her family had her moved to St. John’s Hospital on Monday night, Feb. 10, into the ICU where she was put on antibiotics.

“They had three different ports in her and they had three different lines in each port with fluids, and I think at one time they had seven different antibiotics going into her,” Sonja Coon said.

After a couple of days, Amber was moved into an Intermediate Care Unit room, and she started to regain feeling in her back, arms, and chest.

“Once she was able to feel her chest, then she started having really bad chest pains. Well, laying flat for that long, she started aspirating on like every time she took a sip…some of the fluid was going into her lungs,” Sonja Coon said. “So once they got her lungs all cleared out, then she started feeling a lot better, and then it was like in five hours that she started to feel her legs again.”

After her fight with sepsis, Coon has made a full recovery.

“There will be no permanent effects, just six weeks of therapy,” Amber Coon said.

Coon is now back in school and working towards being back in full fitness for the softball season.

“Anatomy was lonely without her and I’m glad she is back and that she feels better,” Keely Kirby said, a senior and one of Amber’s friends.

This story was originally published on The Meridian Daily on February 25, 2020.