Rachel Mikel’s son Elijah was diagnosed with severe autism when he was 2 years old. Despite the fact he remained nonverbal as the years passed, Elijah developed into a happy, healthy, and fun-loving 18-year-old.
The young man from Kansas loved outdoor activities. So in July 2018, Elijah and his caregiver ventured out along the nature trails of Clinton Lake — something they liked to do on a pretty regular basis. This was a particularly scorching day. The temperature reached 102 degrees, and the heat index was a searing 110.
About 15 minutes into their walk, Elijah’s caregiver grew concerned over his odd behavior and called Rachel. “Something’s not right,” she told her. “He sat down and won’t get back up.”
Rachel assumed Elijah was just being stubborn, as he sometimes tended to be, but she hurried over to the trail anyway. The second she got there and saw her son, she knew the caregiver was right. Something was definitely very wrong with him.
Paramedics arrived and took Elijah’s temperature; it was 108. They desperately tried cooling him down as they rushed him to the hospital.
At first, it looked like his condition was improving. But nothing could have prepared Rachel for what occurred next.
Now she’s sharing her horrific story in the hopes it will prevent other families from going through this.
Footage provided by WDAF Kansas City
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