'Minutes away from death'

A Vernon teen is fighting for her life.

Emily Loewen, 16, was rushed to Vernon Jubilee Hospital on Dec. 6 for what felt like a serious flu. Since then she has been battling with meningococcal meningitis.

The Kalamalka Secondary student’s MRI results showed a swollen brain just two days after being admitted and she was flown to Vancouver General Hospital.

“I was flown down to VGH where they put a bolt in my head to monitor my brain,” she said on Facebook.

“The swelling was so bad I was minutes away from death, so they had put me into a medically induced coma where I remained in the state for three and a half weeks with no brain activity.”

It wasn’t until Dec. 21 that Loewen opened her eyes again.

The bolt was removed the next day and within a week she was breathing on her own.

“That’s when I said my first words to my mom and dad saying ‘I love you’,” she said.

Loewen said when she woke from the coma doctors told her she was paralyzed but she proved them wrong.

On Saturday, she was walking better than they would have ever imagined.

“Everything takes time but i’ll get there,” she said. “I’ve had people reading all the love and support to me and I’ve been telling them how to respond.”

Loewen is now recovering at G.F. Strong Centre in Vancouver. 

“My mom and dad got me this angel to watch over me as I fought for my life. I’ve never been so thankful for the army standing behind me,” she said.

She added a thank you to all the doctors and nurses who “didn’t give up” and saved her life.

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