Kent is going to need those attributes more than ever now.
The 18-year-old Webber International University student has been fighting for her life since Friday at Tampa General Hospital after a previously undiagnosed staph infection led to bacterial myocarditis, an infection of the heart valve. When a bacterial growth broke loose and traveled to her brain, it led to strokes and swelling.
She needs a new heart valve. Her condition may even require brain surgery.
“You go from thinking your kid has the flu to it being an extremely life-threatening situation,” said her mother, Kellie Kent.
The incident happened out of nowhere.
“She came home sick but not for an extended period of time,” Kellie Kent said. She took her daughter to the emergency room at Winter Haven Hospital, where Bailee Kent was given antibiotics for flu-like symptoms and was sent home.
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“About 10 days later, the fever got real high,” Kellie Kent said. “I took her to the E.R. Thursday morning. On Friday, they transported her to Tampa.”
The strokes have left Bailee Kent partially paralyzed on the right side. Although she cannot speak, she is alert and responsive, communicating through nodding, sign language or the help of an Ipad. Kellie Kent said her daughter has feeling in that side when someone touches her arm and leg,
Bailee Kent needs to have heart valve surgery but doctors want her to be stronger before operating.
Word of Bailee Kent’s condition spread like fire with the help of social media.
In just two days, there were more than 1,100 members in the Facebook group “Team BK6”, many offering prayers, pictures and support for their dear friend.
“So many people out there have been so supportive,” Kellie Kent said. “You never know how many lives your kid has touched until this.”
Kathleen Farris, a former teammate at Winter Haven, left college at Trevecca Nazarene University to be at the Kents’ side. Farris was the one who set up the group on Facebook.
“I posted something on Twitter the other morning and said, ‘Team BK6′ off the cuff,” Kellie Kent said. “Kathleen took it and ran with it.
“Kathleen used to be a fixture at my house,” she said. “I used to say that was my blonde daughter, and it has grown from there. She’s just been one
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