36-year-old Mom, Tammy Patino shows us the journal she's been making for her son, 18-year-old Kelbi, during his six-week stay in the hospital. She got emotional when she recounts how close he has come to death.
She says, "He's a typical teenager. This happened to a normal, everyday kid. It could have been your son, your neighbor, your nephew. Just out of the blue.... out of nowhere... it just happened."
Patino went on to explain how her son had good intuition to know that something was wrong.
"Had he not called me, he may not have ever woken up again. He just knew."
It was July 27th, when Tammy got that phone call. The precursor to the mysterious onslaught of illnesses that would change their lives forever.
Kelbi told her he was vomiting and couldn't get out of bed. Tammy eventually rushed him to the hospital. It turned out he had a 103 degree fever.
Doctors eventually diagnosed Kelbi with H1N1 flu, or some variation of it, and then for some unknown reason, it got much worse. It morphed into acute respiratory distress syndrome, then two forms of encephalomyelitis, or swelling of the brain that led to hemorrhaging, actually affecting his ability to walk and sit up.
At this time doctors aren't sure what the permanent damage might be. He was put into a medically induced coma for weeks.
Tammy Patino says: "There are a lot of people who are willing to help when people really need it."
Fox 35's Tracy Jacim: "That moves you?"
Tammy Patino: "Yeah...it moves him a lot too. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to be there for him."
Tammy's family and friends created a website called "Kash for Kelbi" just for that reason.
Tammy has been with her son everyday, she hasn't been working, and she's only been at her job seven months. There isn't any paid leave, though they are holding her job.
On top of that, her health insurance kicked in four days **after** Kelbi was admitted to the hospital, but still, this family is hopeful with news Kelbi may be on the road to some sort of recovery, and that's the focus for this mom.
Tammy Patino says, "He's just going to 'keep on keeping on" I guess. He wants to know what his purpose is... and he wants to fulfill it."
Since this story first aired, Kebli was moved to an in-patient rehab facility, which is a positive sign according to doctors.