Eric Sundermann

First post: Jun 14, 2019 Latest post: Oct 30, 2019

Eric had a sudden onset of fever and sore throat on Saturday, 6/8/19, followed by progressive swelling and redness of his neck.


He started two antibiotics on Sunday and told to follow up on Monday.


We did and there was progression of symptoms. We were escorted to Ear, Nose and Throat, who informed us that we were dealing with a potentially very dangerous thing and surgery would be in 6 hours, only because he had sipped water until that point. A CT scan did not indicate an abscess as expected, but surgery would still be done to clean the infected area and hopefully collect from two areas, the neck and inside the mouth behind the tonsils, to culture, and a possible tonsillectomy. Two different antibiotics were started. We spent the night at Rice Memorial in Willmar.


On Tuesday, Eric wasn’t improving. Tuesday late afternoon it was decided we’d be transferred to Children’s Hospital Minneapolis, via ambulance. He was started on another antibiotic.


Wednesday we met with ENT, Infectious Disease, a pediatrician, and others, and had another CT scan. Eric continued to deteriorate. A team of about ten met with us late afternoon, and said hours were important, at this point. Wednesday, early evening, he had exploratory surgery because he wasn’t responding to three antibiotics, was continuing to deteriorate, and the location (neck). After surgery we were moved to pediatric intensive care per their post op protocol. The good news from surgery was they ruled out flesh eating bacteria!! Whatever he has, we are told, is very rare. None of the five surgeons in the OR had seen this presentation. Previously, lots of other things were ruled out.


The ENT surgeon and the Infectious disease docs were in on Thursday (6/13/19) and were happy with what they were seeing. Eric stabilized and was making progress!! We continue to wait for cultures. He smiled, talked, and walked! He had a central pic line put in today for the longer term antibiotics. He was much more comfortable and calm. He developed a high fever again, and it appeared the red area that seemed to be under control all day, had again spread.

It’s Friday, June 14th. Happy Birthday, Joby! We decided it might be time to start a Caringbridge Site. That’s a weird place to be. We’ve appreciated people checking in, and asking about Eric, and us. We know we haven’t replied to everyone, or given much of an update to some, and it’s only because it’s been exhausting. We’ve GREATLY appreciated the support. And been humbled.

The fever from last night is gone. However, Eric continues meds that should keep fevers down and relieve pain. The redness appears more like a rash now vs the angry, red infection. ENT docs have been in to change the packing in the open wound and it looked good. ID docs were in and are starting a 4th antibiotic. Eric was up walking and is moving better. He continues in and out of delirium. The belief continues to be a bacterial infection. We don’t know what bacteria or cause. We continue to wait. We may be moved to a regular room as airway and breathing are not of concern.

Despite the unknowns, we are trending toward health. We’ve all gotten some sleep, and things are not quite as intense. Right now, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, are more than welcome to visit.

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