One Saturday afternoon in October, Brandon Hayes was running up and down the soccer field with his teammates. Less than two weeks later, he was lethargic in a hospital bed while his mother underwent surgery that would save his life.
It all started when Brandon vomited three times on the way home from soccer. The 4-year-old seemed healthy for the next few days, but two days later, after eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he vomited again. His parents, Daniel and Cheri, kept him home from soccer practice that night so he could rest. The following morning, Daniel drove to work, but he never got out of his car. On the way, Cheri called to say Brandon was clutching his stomach in pain and they were headed to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.