Active, healthy Nashville teen dies after sudden case of MRSA - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Active, healthy Nashville teen dies after sudden case of MRSA


A standout eighth-grade athlete, described as the "picture of health," soon became one of the sickest kids at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital then died.

Miles Freeman first fell ill with flu-like symptoms, but things got worse very quickly.

"Miles, from day one, was full of energy," said father James Freeman Jr. "Martial artist, basketball player, football player."

James Freeman said he always knew his son was tough, but he saw how big of a fighter he was during his son's final minutes alive.

"His lips were quivering. We could feel his spirit not wanting to leave," James Freeman said.

Miles attended Dupont-Tyler Middle School, where the popular 6-footer wasn't just a star athlete. He was a top student, too.

"He had one of those personalities where everybody liked him. He always had a smile," said Principal Jamila Martin.

Just over a month ago, at home, Miles started coughing and complaining of flu-like symptoms.

"His mother brought me some chicken soup, and I got some Vicks VapoRub," James Freeman said.

But it got worse, and Miles needed to go the emergency room, where Vanderbilt doctors quickly realized the 14-year-old was critical. His lungs were collapsing.

"That's when I started getting scared," James Freeman said.

Miles underwent five surgeries, and tests revealed he had the bacterial staph infection MRSA.

His classmates and family started rallying support and prayers on Facebook and at school, where his peers called the movement "#TeamMiles."

Even Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson visited Miles in the hospital, making him an honorary captain. Mile's father is a Metro officer.

Then, the teen's cousins made an inspirational video, rallying for him to keep fighting.

But over the weekend, doctors gave Miles' family the awful news. The boy, usually so full of energy, now had just 3 percent lung capacity.

"They shrugged their shoulders. They never encountered this before. It was so aggressive," James Freeman said.

The family made the difficult decision to take Miles off life support.

While their feeling of loss was hard to describe, the Freeman family said they find some comfort knowing until the end, their son was a fighter.

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