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MASSIVE BLOOD CLOT IN THE BRAIN LEAVES PAYSON TEEN WITH NEW, CHALLENGING LIFE

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After cheering at her first Payson Junior High School football game three months ago, 14-year-old Amy Haskell complained of a headache. An hour later, she was flown by helicopter to University of Utah because of a vein in her head that had burst.

"The doctors described this as a spider varicose vein that is abnormal. When it bursts, it is gone and they can't find a bleed source," said her mother, Maxine Haskell.The vein had bled enough to create a blood clot in her brain the size of a plum.

"When we arrived at the hospital, the doctors said there was no hope. The pressure in her head was too great," her mother said.

Doctors immediate drilled two holes in Amy's head to place drains inside. Amy was in a coma while blood and fluid drained from her head for four days. A permanent drainage system was later placed there.

"After six weeks at the University of Utah, Amy was moved to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center on Oct. 2. She was unable to eat, hold her head up, or even project her voice," Maxine said.

Amy learned how to eat and how to balance. She learned how to walk just as she had as a child, by pushing a shopping cart around. Now her only handicap is the loss of her short-term memory.

"Amy doesn't remember anything that has happened since Nov. 21. She still thinks it is August. She spends over four hours a day in therapy. She carries a day timer around and writes everything down so she can remember it," her mother said.

Amy has had the benefit of a supportive family. Her mother and father stayed with her throughout her hospitalizations. Her six brothers and friends had a welcome-home party when she was released from the hospital. They spelled "I love you" with toilet paper on the roof and put balloons around the yard.

"I am glad Amy can't remember what she has been through. It was very hard on her, but she has recovered miraculously," her mother said.

Amy missed the football season, and she won't be returning to school until she gets her short-term memory back.

"Sunday she was playing basketball with her brothers and her dad. She has been running on the treadmill also. We just feel lucky she is alive," her mother said.