Broken Tooth Leads to Open-Heart Surgery

Brandon Baker, a man in his 20s from Ohio, embarked on a harrowing seven-month medical journey after what he initially thought was a severe flu turned out to be a full-body blood infection. Baker’s ordeal began when he felt extremely ill while driving to work. Despite his condition, he pushed through and only sought medical help when his symptoms worsened.

Baker was initially diagnosed with the flu, marking the start of his health crisis. He began to lose weight rapidly, struggling to digest food and shedding nearly 50 pounds in a few weeks. Despite multiple visits to the doctor, his condition continued to deteriorate. One morning, he lost consciousness in the shower, prompting another emergency room visit where he was diagnosed with a plethora of symptoms.

Doctors diagnosed Baker with meningitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia, attributing these conditions to a severe flu. He was admitted to the hospital, but due to a particularly bad flu season and understaffing, his treatment was limited. Doctors drained fluid from Baker’s lungs, which had accumulated from shower water, but were still puzzled as to why he was having difficulty breathing.

Baker was then transferred to the ICU at a state hospital, where he was reprimanded for his irregular breathing and threatened with intubation. It was here that doctors discovered he was suffering from a severe, full-body, near-septic blood infection and had developed bacterial endocarditis, a life-threatening inflammation of the heart’s inner lining and valves.

Baker recalled that doctors found a massive infection on one of his heart’s mitral valve leaflets. He spent about ten days in the hospital before being sent home with a six-week course of antibiotics. However, his ordeal was far from over. Two weeks later, he underwent mandatory open-heart surgery to replace the infected leaflet.

Baker traced the root of his health crisis back to a broken tooth he had pulled seven months prior to his ordeal. He had delayed fixing the tooth due to lack of insurance, but had kept it clean. He claimed that he was never given antibiotics when he had his tooth fixed, which could have prevented his health crisis and saved him from accruing over $830,000 in medical debt.

Baker’s story, shared on TikTok, has sparked a wave of sympathy and concern among viewers. One user commented on the reality of medical trauma, expressing regret for Baker’s experience. Another user admitted to brushing their teeth more thoroughly after hearing Baker’s story.