ST. LOUIS – It’s been a month since Makenna Jones collapsed on a basketball court, went into cardiac arrest and was connected to a ventilator inside the Intensive Care Unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Her mother says her 12-year-old daughter dribbled a basketball Monday.
“It’s nothing but miraculous,” said Lindsay Jones.
The Crystal City girl remains hospitalized at St. Louis Children’s Hospital but has left the ICU and is now undergoing therapy. Doctors are helping Makenna recover from a brain injury suffered as the result of her heart not pumping blood.
Makenna spends hours in therapy each day. Her mother says a therapist has called her daughter, “Wicked strong.”
“She is very tough, very tough kid,” said Jones.
She says doctors are unable to predict how much of a recovery Makenna will make but her parents are not limiting their expectations.
“She’s a strong kid,” said Jones. “You’re not going to find a lot of kids like her and she’s going to take this and run with this and go far.”
Makenna was diagnosed with the flu weeks before she collapsed but doctors say they may never know if that was a factor. They do know Makenna was fortunate to collapse in a school with a defibrillator. The A.E.D. was used on Makenna and it’s possible that saved her life.
“Every minute, every second is really crucial because that’s a minute the brain is not getting an adequate blood supply,” said St. Louis Children’s Hospital Dr. Douglas Larsen. “So, to have people use the resources that are right there are is critical to helping her to achieve the best outcome. I think that was one of the most important things for helping Makenna.”
Makenna’s basketball teammates recently visited the hospital to help her celebrate her 12th birthday. Her family has been overwhelmed by the support from their community, friends, and church.
“Makenna is our world but to think that she is as important to other people is a gift,” said Jones. “A true blessing.”