13-Yr-Old Treated for 'Sinus Infection' Over & Over. By Time DRs Realize Mistake, it's Too Late


Marquel Brumley was an average 13-year-old boy with a special gift for making people smile. He was an eighth grader and straight-A student.

Marquel could be found in a band playing the trumpet or out on the field playing football. Known for his humor and academic drive, the 13-year-old boy should have been home joking around with his family or at school studying early this March.

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Instead, he could be found at the hospital, which tragically happened to be where his untimely death took place. Marquel was experiencing cold symptoms and headaches in February.

He visited an urgent care clinic where he was diagnosed with an infection. Doctors explained that it was viral so Marquel would soon feel better as the viral infection ran its course and improved without any special treatment.

This explanation sounds reasonable, especially during the winter cold season, but was a serious mistake in assessing the boy’s health. Marquel did have an infection, but it was only found after it was too late.

Rather than seeing improvement, his health continued to decline. Debilitating migraines landed Marquel in the emergency room on numerous occasions.

The left side of his face swelled to the point that he couldn’t move his facial muscles on that side. It was time for another trip to the hospital, but this time a doctor ordered an MRI.

Marquel had been suffering from a sinus infection. The infection had become so severe that it moved through his bones and to his brain.

The brain infection led to blood clots putting the boy at risk of stroke. That risk became a reality when Marquel had multiple strokes.

During brain surgery, doctors were able to manage the infection, but the resulting pressure from the blood clots led to oxygen deprivation, and the 13-year-old ended up in a coma.

His family was given time to say goodbye before Marquel passed away on March 11. Seven lives were saved through Marquel’s organ donations, and as the family raises awareness about the potential risks of sinus infections, there is a great potential that more lives could be saved after hearing Marquel’s heartbreaking story.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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