SACRAMENTO — A Sacramento teen died last month from an invasive form of encephalitis, leaving her family devastated and searching for answers.
“Megan was more than a daughter to my sister. Megan was her companion, her best friend,” the girl’s aunt, Rose Xiong, told FOX40.
Megan Her loved her Hmong heritage and was the constant companion to her mother, Shary Xiong — who was stricken with kidney disease. It made her death all the more tragic.
Three weeks ago, Megan was transferred Kaiser Permanente from the Kaiser South emergency room with symptoms of viral meningitis, not as contagious or deadly as the bacterial form.
Megan suffered from headaches and seizures, and was disoriented.
“She was talking in a way that no one could understand what she was saying,” her aunt said.
After overnight observation, the family says doctors felt she had improved enough to go home even though her mother insisted to the attending nurse that Megan’s behavior was still erratic.
The next day, she was back at Kaiser Roseville with the same symptoms and had also exhibited violent behavior.
After tests she was diagnosed with a type of encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, that is sometimes lethal. The classic symptoms are bizarre psychological behavior. She died of massive organ failure a few days later, even though the prognosis until the last few hours was that she could recover.
Megan’s family hopes her death can be a note of caution for parents who know their kids best.
“You can dispute discharges, you can appeal discharges. I know my sister harbors a lot of guilt that she didn’t advocate enough for her daughter,” Xiong said. “Had they paid more attention to the concerns of her parents and dug a little deeper into her symptoms, maybe she would have been able to save her.”
In a response by Kaiser Permanente Roseville, Senior Vice president of Jeff Collins said Megan’s family have their deepest sympathy for Megan’s loss and they respect and support the family’s need for answers. He adds they will be reviewing Megan’s care at the hospital.
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