Destinee's Story

Dec 1, 2023

"We received many miracles and RIM was one of them.” – Destinee’s Mom

Thirteen-year-old Destinee Hayes was the president of Future Leader’s, played volleyball and won several academic competitions. Today, she is a miracle after surviving complications from COVID-19.

“Destinee wasn’t able to get her scheduled COVID-19 vaccination because she had a sore throat and fever. Her COVID-19 test was negative,” says Destinee’s mother, Jequita Breham.

Over the next week, Destinee’s symptoms got worse. They went to the emergency room three times. The third time was to Children’s Hospital in Troy, who immediately sent her to Children’s in Detroit.

“Destinee was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She was admitted to ICU and a few days later, flatlined for 14 minutes. An “angel” nurse saved her. Destinee’s organs were failing, and she needed life support. She eventually had a massive stroke requiring two surgeries to reduce brain swelling. I was in absolute disbelief.”

Jequita and Destinee’s dad were told their daughter’s condition was “touch and go;” they refused to say it was anything but “GO.” Relying on their faith, family, church family and friends, Destinee came out of her coma.

“It started with her sticking out her tongue, then saying her ABC’s. She was transferred to the inpatient rehab unit at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, which is managed by DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM). Physical therapists started to get her moving again. Occupational therapists worked on her eyes and speech therapy focused on talking and her memory. She made incredible progress.”

“You can tell when someone really cares about you and all my therapists loved me. They were so genuine,” says Destinee.

Destinee was eventually discharged and has continued with RIM outpatient therapy. She is back to school, participates in her church choir and spends time with her sibling and niece.

“I believe with all my heart RIM made the difference in her recovery. We are so thankful. We received many miracles and RIM was one of them.”