NORTON, Ohio — The family of Emma Pfouts, the Norton cheerleader who fell critically ill after suffering an asthma attack at homecoming, has been through unimaginable heartache and pain since Emma was hospitalized more than three months ago on Oct. 19, 2019. Since then, her family has candidly shared every trial and tribulation relating to their daughter’s condition and progress.
Monday marked 100 days since Emma was admitted into the hospital. Her mother Christina Boyer Weigand shared an update on day 99 on Sunday about her daughter, the struggles her family has had to overcome and what’s next for the family.
Emma was at the homecoming dance when she started struggling to breathe. A police officer watched as Emma walked to her car to grab her asthma inhaler, but as she returned to the building, the officer noticed the teen was in serious trouble. She never made it back inside. Emma was placed in a medically-induced coma and soon after waking up began swallowing, yawning and moving.
For the first time in a long time, Weigand said she went home, a moment she described as “almost surreal.”
Because she stays at the hospital keeping a watchful eye on Emma, Weigand says the rest of her family have suffered in the situation.
“They all have to pick up the slack of what we did around the house and more which is a lot for them. They’re having to adjust to so many things, here at the hospital and at home, how could I not feel guilty for not being there for all of them knowing they need me,” she wrote on Facebook.
While Emma is making more progress one day at a time, her mother expressed the tough decision she and her family still have to make for Emma.
"From the beginning, we were told by professionals here, friends, & strangers who have experienced similar situations that the odds were stacked against us, that this type of thing leads to divorce & broken up families. Going through this for the past 99 days, I can see how that could happen. However, like Emma, we will defy those odds. We have a love for one another that has already gotten us through our worst moment and we survived together," Weigand wrote.
Earlier this month, Emma’s mother said her daughter made “significant progress” since Christmas Day, which included voluntary movements such as moving her legs and opening and closing her eyes on command.
Jump ahead to a week later on Jan. 14, her family spoke to News 5 media partner at the Akron Beacon Journal that she had her personality back, smiling, laughing and shrugging. A recent MRI showed her brain was healing. Remarkably, she was starting to communicate by mouthing words.
Last week, her mother said Emma completed all her therapies, which included hitting the ball. Her therapist said she was able to work out her toning which made her flexibility almost normal.
It was a month filled with many tests and questions as Emma's leg that had issues with swelling underwent surgery for osteomyelitis and abscesses.
On Christmas Day, a time usually surrounded by friends and family at home, was a holiday spent near the bedside of Emma.
After three weeks in medically-induced coma, Emma began swallowing, moving her eyes and moving her hand.
Of her daughter’s progress at the time, Weigand said, “Oh, it’s incredible. I mean, we’re very emotional and we just, just to see anything, I mean, I hadn’t seen her move in three weeks, so just to see her move was amazing.”