Ohio preschool girl, four, is taken off life support after being admitted to hospital with ‘common cold’ that triggered a fatal stroke and severe brain swelling

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Four-year-old Maisie was hospitalized after coming down with a virus that has symptoms similar to the flu
  • Doctors found that she had experienced a stroke and had bleeding in her brain
  • She died Tuesday after lying in an induced coma for days

An Ohio preschooler has been taken off life support just days after falling ill with a virus initially thought to be the common cold.

Four-year-old Maisie was taken to an urgent care after she came down with a stuffy nose and cough last week.

When she grew lethargic on Saturday, her parents rushed her to a local emergency room before she was admitted to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

There, she was placed in a medically induced coma. Doctors discovered bleeding in her brain and determined that she’d suffered a stroke. 

Just two days after arriving at the hospital, Maisie was pronounced dead. 

According to her uncle, Michael Brigadier, the four-year-old had come down with the human metapneumovirus, an RNA virus that commonly presents like the cold or flu.

Four-year-old Maisie was taken off life support Tuesday, days after she was admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms

According to her uncle, Maisie had been infected with the human metapneumovirus, an RNA virus that presents similarly to the common cold

According to her uncle, Maisie had been infected with the human metapneumovirus, an RNA virus that presents similarly to the common cold

Within days of being admitted, doctors realized that she had experienced a stroke and had swelling on the right side of her brain

Within days of being admitted, doctors realized that she had experienced a stroke and had swelling on the right side of her brain

Bragadier, the brother of Maisie’s mother, Christin, organized a GoFundMe on behalf of the family to help cover basic costs like gas and food.

‘I wish I could deliver a happy ending to this story,’ he wrote on March 26, hours after Maisie’s death. ‘I wish I knew the right words to say to ease my loved ones’ pains and all those who were touched by Maisie.

‘Around 11 am today Maisie passed away. Typing these words hours after are still so surreal. I’m in disbelief that this could happen to such a sweet family.’

He described his niece as ‘caring, smart, fun and loving,’ adding that she ‘exhibited the best traits you could ask for out of a person.’

Christin Brigadier posted an update to Facebook on March 24 saying Maisie’s condition was deteriorating.

‘Her kidneys are not working well, but it’s not the major concern right now. Nothing is really working well,’ she wrote.

Christin explained that clear fluid was leaking from her daughter’s nose and mouth, and her body was swelling.

‘She has a spot on her brain scan that could have been a stroke or brain bleeding. They took her off some sedation and paralytics to see if she could move her arms/legs to rule out things but it hasn’t worked,’ she wrote.

A ‘heart problem’ arose amid her treatment, so Maisie underwent a procedure to relieve pressure in one of her ventricles.

She was initially taken to a local urgent care, but after she grew lethargic, Maisie was admitted to a children's hospital in Cleveland

She was initially taken to a local urgent care, but after she grew lethargic, Maisie was admitted to a children’s hospital in Cleveland

She was placed in an induced coma. What followed were a series of procedures and surgeries as doctors scrambled to save her life

She was placed in an induced coma. What followed were a series of procedures and surgeries as doctors scrambled to save her life

The preschooler was supposed to undergo kidney dialysis, but her condition worsened and things rapidly spun out of control, according to her mother

The preschooler was supposed to undergo kidney dialysis, but her condition worsened and things rapidly spun out of control, according to her mother

'Her kidneys are not working well, but it's not the major concern right now. Nothing is really working well,' mother Christin Brigadier wrote

‘Her kidneys are not working well, but it’s not the major concern right now. Nothing is really working well,’ mother Christin Brigadier wrote

Maisie's mother and father, Patric Schmidt, announced Tuesday that their little girl had passed away

Maisie’s mother and father, Patric Schmidt, announced Tuesday that their little girl had passed away

On Monday, Christin posted another update after learning that her daughter had experienced a stroke on the right side of her brain.

‘They will be going in, removing her skull on the right side, releasing the pressure and eventually get her back together,’ she wrote. ‘With how sick Maisie is she could pass away during surgery.’

She explained that Maisie was supposed to be put on kidney dialysis, but ‘things just started to spin out of control.’

Christin and Maisie’s father, Patric Schmidt, announced Tuesday afternoon that she had been taken off life support.

‘There was simply nothing more that could be done,’ the heartbroken parents wrote in a statement to 19 News.

Brigadier vowed to ‘focus on only the positive things in life’ in memory of his beloved niece.

‘To cherish every moment I get to spend with those I love. To love deeper and be more forgiving. I think those are all things we can learn from Maisie,’ he said.

‘There’s so many times where we all just think of how life isn’t fair. Maybe it’s just because we’re overlooking all the amazing things we have been given and take for granted. I am so proud to be your uncle, Maisie, and I’ll never forget what I have learned from you.’

Children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to human metapneumovirus.

It is unclear how the disease connects to the brain bleed Maisie experienced, but HMPV can cause upper and lower respiratory disease in those it infects.

Symptoms include cough, fever, congestion and shortness of breath, but clinical symptoms may progress to bronchitis or pneumonia.

There is currently no antiviral treatment, nor is there a vaccine.

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