Marquel Brumley: 13-Year-Old Boy Died After Sinus Infection Spread To His Brain

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Thirteen-year-old Michigan boy Marquel Brumley, an otherwise healthy young teen from Michigan, was taken to an urgent care center after suffering from what appeared to be cold symptoms. Just weeks later, he was dead, after the sinus infection doctors eventually diagnosed had spread to his brain.

Earlier this week, one of Brumley’s relatives, Peggy Gilbert, spoke to Michigan news outlet WNEM, describing how Marquel first experienced cold symptoms and a headache, and noting that he was advised by doctors that the symptoms would eventually clear up, and that the “viral infection” would “run its course.” After this initial visit, Marquel’s health grew progressively worse, as he began to get intense migraine headaches that required a visit to the emergency room. Still not noticing anything out of the ordinary, doctors reportedly gave him over-the-counter medications to relieve the pain.

According to People, it was only last week when it was discovered that Marquel Brumley had a sinus infection, after his migraines had caused his face to swell to the point where he no longer could move the muscles in the left side of his face. It was found that Brumley’s sinus infection had spread through his bones and into his brain, and that the boy had blood clots that put him at a risk of suffering a stroke. The eighth-grader then underwent surgery, but while doctors were able to stop the infection from spreading further, the blood clots were putting too much pressure on his brain and depriving it of oxygen.


“He was in a lot of pain, he was crying that his head hurt, and he was still talking to us. He would ask his mom if they were done with the tests because he just wanted to go home,” said Marquel’s aunt, Nicole Alexander, in an interview with People.

On March 11, just days after going through surgery, Marquel Brumley died of complications from the infection, having also suffered multiple strokes, Fox News wrote.

As explained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on its website, sinus infections are characterized by several symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose, a headache, facial pain or pressure, coughing, and fever. They normally do not require treatment with antibiotics, but parents are nonetheless advised to take their children to a medical professional if the symptoms persist, or grow worse after more than 10 days. Separately, the Cleveland Clinic stresses that sinus infections spreading to the eyes or brain are a “rare, but potentially dangerous” complication, with infections that spread to the brain potentially resulting in meningitis, brain abscess, or other life-threatening conditions.

Prior to Marquel Brumley’s death, his family launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his medical expenses, and in the 10 days since, the campaign has nearly doubled its original funding goal of $10,000. While Marquel is very much missed by his family, relative Peggy Gilbert noted in an update on Thursday that the young boy “saved seven lives with the gift of his organs,” though she didn’t go into further detail about the organ donations.