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Harvest Anne

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Harvest’s Story – As told by Harvest’s dad, Richard Brimhall

When Harvest Anne was three she had to have several cavities filled. We originally had planned to have the work done in the dentist office, but the night before our dentist called us and asked if we wouldn't mind going to Primary Children's Hospital. He was worried that having to fill several cavities at one time may be better served in the children's hospital. My wife, Melissa and I were concerned, but we obliged. We took Harvest to the hospital and met the dentist there. He explained that they would use General Anesthesia and that it could take a couple of hours. They took Harvest back to begin so Melissa and I decided to go to the gift shop to get her a little gift or something. We were gone maybe 40 minutes. When we got back to the waiting room, we saw a nurse running around asking parents in the waiting room if they were Harvest's parents. We were like, we are Harvest's parents. She immediately moved us into a small room, closed the door and said, I can't tell you 100% what is happening, but you probably need to prepare for the worst. We were like, what are you talking about? Harvest is here to get some cavities filled. The nurse said, there is a team of doctors working on her and that's all I know. She then told us if we needed to call any family we should do that immediately. Melissa broke down in tears and I was so confused. The nurse ran out and said she would come back when she had more information. 

The dentist finally came out after what seemed a lifetime and explained that he had started on her top back teeth when the Anesthesiologist asked him, Doctor, are you done? Our dentist chuckled and said, no not even close, and the Anesthesiologist said, nope, you're done. He had recognized that her temperature was rapidly rising and he needed to take swift action to save our little girl. Our dentist was fuzzy on all the details but could tell us that, because of the Anesthesiologist, Harvest should be okay. 

A few hours later we were able to go see Harvest in the PICU. It was still terrifying as we still didn't quite know what was happening or why it was happening to her. The Anesthesiologist finally came to meet us and explained that Harvest had an MH episode. He said that in his 30 years of experience this was only his second case that he has seen and he said that was an anomaly. His assistant was with him, who explained that she was studying for a test the night before and had read the smallest paragraph regarding MH and that her instructors and professors said they will probably not see an MH case in their career. The Anesthesiologist asked if we would talk to some professors and doctors from around the country, which we did. 

Harvest spent close to two weeks in the hospital. It was a terrifying time for us and at the same time, it was a time of true miracles.  We had an unbelievably talented Dentist, Anesthesiologist, and his assistant. 

Harvest is 16 now and would love to bring more awareness and attention to how important knowledge of these rare conditions is. Shortly after Harvest had her experience we read of a teenage girl who underwent surgery and died of an MH episode. 


Harvest’s Story in her own words….

My name is Harvest Anne Brimhall. I am a survivor of Malignant Hyperthermia. My experience and my story are ready to be told. When I was three I needed to have some cavities removed from my mouth. The dentist said it was an easy in and out procedure and he could do it in the dentist’s office. The night before my procedure was done my parents got a call from our dentist saying he had a feeling that we should the procedure at Primary Children’s Hospital. The next day I went in and from there it’s all really blurry for me. I do know my temperature was very high and my heart rate was very fast. None of the doctors knew what was happening and they prepared for me to die. Miraculously one doctor had just read up on Malignant Hyperthermia the night before. That doctor saved my life. I don’t know a lot about MH and I live a pretty normal life with it. But I want to share my story and share that even though Malignant Hyperthermia is rare, it is out there. People do have it and people die from it. Spreading awareness is what will save our lives.


Views and opinions expressed on this page are only those of the individual telling their story. MHAUS has not clinically vetted the content. 

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