Meagan McLain was 21 years old. A college student. And dying.
Temperature 106. Heart rate 180. Blood pressure plummeting. In the ICU at the Midwest Regional Medical Center, physicians and nurses scrambled to stabilize her. But to no avail.
Meagan had come to the hospital complaining only of pain in her lower back. Soon, though, her blood oxygen dropped to dangerous levels. Her heart was racing at a gallop, her body burning up with fever. And then her breathing, at first labored and halting, stopped altogether.
Doctors pushed a tube down her throat, into her lungs. Within moments, they hooked a ventilator to the tube, and a machine began to do for Meagan what her lungs could not—breathe.
Still, her physicians had no idea what had pushed this University of Central Oklahoma student to the verge of death. Or how to stop it.