Dangerous Operation Required to Save Teen's Life

Sometimes, life-threatening medical emergencies can come out of nowhere. Just ask 18-year-old Hannah Martindale of Flower Mound.

"I just woke up one morning, and I remember having like the worst sore throat of my life," Hannah told NewsFix. "So we got to the emergency room, and turns out I had an abscess in my throat."

Yeah, the ER docs told her the abscess was the size of a man's fist!

They drained it surgically and held Hannah for four days before releasing her. But it wasn't long before she was right back in the ER.

"Within 24 hours of being home, her chest was hurting," said Hannah's mom, Beth. "She could not sit up, she couldn't lie down."

"It felt like someone was sitting on it," Hannah said.

"She said 'I've got to go to the emergency room again,’" recalled Beth. "Something's just not right."

Back at the ER in Flower Mound, a CT scan was performed.

"That was probably the worst pain I've ever felt in my life," said Hannah.

That painful scan showed a dangerous problem. The infection had moved to her chest and fluid was pressing on her lungs and heart. She was rushed to Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas where she met Dr. Mark Pool.

Dr. Pool remembers the dire situation Hannah was in. "It doesn't take long before the patient won't be able to make it through," he told NewsFix, pointing out the scary parts of the CT scan.

"I'll never forget the nurse telling me that I needed to call family," Beth said. "That's when reality really hit, how serious it was."

It would take risky emergency surgery to save Hannah's life. Dr. Pool made cuts in his patient's side and neck, draining and cleaning out the infected fluid. The operation was a success, and Hannah survived her near-death experience.

"I couldn't ask for a better team of doctors and nurses," Hannah said, adding that the experience has inspired her to pursue a career in nursing. "My whole recovery process was perfect."

Thanks to the hard work of Dr. Pool and his team, Hannah's medical horror story has a happy ending.

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