It is with deep sadness that we report Brookelynne Shannon passed away this morning. We at Owensboro Living offer our condolences to her family and friends. We are very thankful to the Shannon family for letting us share Brookelynne’s story with the community. The GoFundMe page is still active for those who wish to donate.
In her most recent post this morning, Jamie Shannon, Brookelynne’s mom said:
“Papaw said the last conversation he had with Brookelynne in his truck was about Black History. She always loved talking about politics and American history. With that being said, our sweet girl gained her wings this morning, on Martin Luther King Day. She fought a tough fight but just couldn’t fight anymore. She is and always will be one of the most amazing and beautiful to ever walk this earth. Please keep our family in your prayers as we go through this extremely difficult time. We love you Brookelynne Kyarra ❤ #brookelynnestrong”
Since posting this story yesterday, it has been shared by nearly 900 people. We at Owensboro Living are overwhelmed by the support from the community for Brookelynne. And it seems as though she needs it now more than ever. After OL interviewing Jamie Shannon, Brookelynne’s mom, the 8th grader’s condition worsened.
With the weakening of her lungs and increased infection, Brookelynne’s lung collapsed. Her doctors at Norton Children’s Hospital decided to place her on ECMO. (ECMO stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. Extracorporeal means outside of the body. A membrane oxygenator is a piece of equipment which acts as a lung to deliver oxygen into the child’s blood. The ECMO circuit acts as an artificial heart and lung for the patient during ECMO therapy.)
While the Shannon family thought this would allow Brookelynne’s lung needed time to heal, further complications arose. Brookelynne coded after surgery, resulting in 36 minutes of CPR while doctors attempted to hook her heart up to ECMO as well. This did not correct her worsening condition and doctors determined it was necessary to proceed with open heart surgery. Brookelynne is now stable after three major surgeries and coding on the operating room table.
In a Facebook post made yesterday, Jamie said, “Today we thought we were about to lose our sweet girl. As you can imagine, we have been through a lot today and she is needing extra special care at this point. She has three nurses in her room at all times now. Every surgeon, doctor and nurse came to us with tears in their eyes during and after this whole ordeal. I know we are in the best place possible, they care so much about our precious girl.”
The community continues to support Brookelynne and her family. The hashtag #brookelynnestrong has swept Facebook. Say It Southern in Towne Square Mall is selling #brookelynnestrong t-shirts and 100 percent of the proceeds will be given to the Shannon family. Friends have started a fundraiser, selling “thank you” tickets that will enter participants in a drawing for a homemade quilt. Donations jars have been set up across town. And the GoFundMe page has nearly doubled in 24 hours.
Owensboro Living will continue to follow this story.
The day after Christmas Brookelynne Shannon, an 8th grader at Burns Middle School, was not feeling well. Her mom, Jamie Shannon, took Brookelynne to a convenient care where she was diagnosed with the flu. Given Tamiflu, Brookelynne was sent home. By New Year’s Eve the teenager was complaining of chest pain. Jamie took her daughter to the emergency room, but she was released after extensive monitoring. Her symptoms worsened overnight and on New Year’s Day, Brookelynne, 13, started spitting up blood.
Rushed back to the emergency room, Brookelynne’s lungs had worsened from the time chest X-rays were taken the day prior. Her oxygen levels were dangerously low and the decision was made by ER doctors to transport her to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville. But Brookelynne was too unstable for the flight there.
Doctors sedated Brookelynne, giving her a paralytic and placing her on a ventilator.
“They were basically trying to keep her alive at that point,” Jamie said.
While the first week at Norton was a rough road for the Shannon family, this week Brookelynne is starting to show progress. Finally diagnosed with flu, pneumonia, staph infection and acute respiratory disorder, Brookelynne has a long road ahead of her. Jamie says doctors expect to keep her daughter on a ventilator for another week or two and then close monitoring in the hospital for an additional two weeks before she moves on to rehabilitation.
The Shannons do not expect to be home before March.
“It’s crazy to think this can happen,” Jamie said. “She was a perfectly healthy kid before this happened.”
Brookelynne is on the Burns Middle School basketball team, the Apollo freshman volleyball team, a member of the National Junior Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. According to her mom, Brookelynne is in all advanced classes including one class at Apollo.
With the extended hospital stay, Jamie decided to withdraw Brookelynne from school and she will more than likely attend summer school to make up her work.
And while Jamie is relieved her daughter is starting to improve, she warns parents to take more caution in the spreading of germs. She asks that if you or your child shows signs of sickness, stay home. According to Jamie, it is not worth the risk.
A mother of Brookelynne’s school friend started a GoFundMe page to help support the family’s medical bills and time off of work.
“We have had the most incredible support from Owensboro,” Jamie said. “People that don’t even know my daughter are supporting her from home.”