Junior Megan Harris returned from a summer mission trip to Thailand with her health in critical condition due to two strands of E. coli she contracted while traveling.
After staying in the hospital for five days with kidney failure, drastic dehydration and vomiting, Megan made a full recovery.
Megan said she felt ill during her last week in Thailand and assumed it was a minor sickness.
“I started not feeling well, and I thought it was just car sickness because we were on what was supposed to be an eight-hour drive and turned out to be a 14-hour drive,” Megan said. “I started not feeling well then, but the next day I still wasn’t feeling well.”
Megan said she stayed in bed for the rest of the week at the Bible school where the mission team was stationed in Bangkok.
On the team’s last day in Thailand, she was taken to a hospital and told she just had a “traveler’s bug.” Megan said that the hospital did not run any blood work. The following day, she flew back to the United States. Due to weakness, she had to use a wheelchair to make it through the several different airports to get home. She continued on to her final destination in Houston where her family waited for her.
“She tried so hard to look so happy to see her family, but she just didn’t look right,” Megan’s mother Michele Harris said. “Her eyes, to me, were sunken in. She was a little gray and you could just tell she wasn’t feeling well.”
Megan’s family rushed her to the emergency room. After testing it was discovered she had extremely low blood pressure and severe dehydration. The doctors took blood, ran more tests and told Megan she was in kidney failure, without fully knowing what was wrong with her. She said, at one point, her kidneys were functioning at 5%.
“We had the I.C.U. doctor, we had nephrologist, the kidney doctors, we had the blood doctors,” Michele said. “We had infectious disease doctors trying to figure out what was wrong.”
Megan’s dad, Adrian Harris, called their church and had everyone stop what they were doing, pray and spread the word that Megan was in critical condition.
“Over 70 churches across the U.S. had been praying, and that’s not including the people back in Thailand,” Megan said.
The doctors discovered Megan had two strands of E. coli, but she started improving hours after diagnosis.
“In that five-hour window is when her numbers started getting better,” Michele said. “That was a miracle in itself.” Megan’s peers were shocked at her composure throughout this journey.
“Megan definitely did not complain about it,” Global Outreach group leader Erastos Evdoxiadis said. “Her composure was very good. She wasn’t complaining, she wasn’t whining.”
Megan’s mom said she was encouraged by her daughter’s strength.
“She was laying in the bed, and they were doing all this stuff to her,” Michele said. “I was crying. Her sisters were crying. Her dad was crying. She looked at me, and she made eye contact with me, and she said, ‘Mommy, it’s going to be okay. I’m going to be fine.’ And that was her attitude the whole time.”
Harris was discharged from the hospital on the morning of Aug. 7 and attended band camp the following weekend at Harding. Her quick recovery was said to be miraculous by her family, friends and doctors.