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School nurse helps dodge deadly close call after 3rd grader suffers unknown anemia attack at recess

Posted at 6:21 AM, Nov 06, 2023

SOLON, Ohio — Mia Kitzmiller, a Parkside Elementary student, says she was at recess when she suddenly did not feel good.

"I was kind of dizzy and I kept having headaches every time I walked or jumped," she said.

Kitzmiller told News 5 that she sat down, and " a whole bunch of kids just came up to me and asked if I was OK." Despite Kitzmiller telling her peers she was fine, "they went to get one of the recess teachers and they said go to the nurse."

Rachel Ocampo, the district's floating nurse, sent Kitzmiller home. However, Kitzmiller's mother, Kassie Machado, says her daughter was fine and normal as time passed. So, Kitzmiller went back to school the next day; only to end up in the nurse's office once again.

"I took one look at her and told her lay down," Ocampo said. "She had no blood vessels underneath her eyes, no redness. Her fingers, there was no cap refill."

Ocampo believed Kitzmiller was anemic and informed her mother.

"I was clearly missing something. She's never been diagnosed with anemia, so this was the first time I had ever heard of that," said Machado.

Still, Machado took Kitzmiller to her pediatrician.

"They took one look at her, and they were like she needs to go to the ER," Machado said. "I took her up, they drew blood and they came back with her hemoglobin was at a level three which as they told me she could have just not woke up if we hadn't taken her in."

It turns out Ocampo was right. Kitzmiller suffered a severe anemia attack. Machado says it is not clear what triggered her daughter's anemia attack, but doctors believe it could have been caused by diet. She says after three blood transfusions, Kitzmiller's blood levels are now slowly rising.

"I can't express it enough. I really wish every school had a real nurse...I could've lost my little girl."