Anna Sheffer
Updated Mar 19, 2018 @ 10:33 am
Marquel Brumley passed away from complications due to a sinus infection.
Credit: Peggy Gilbert /

Everyone gets sick, and usually, after a few days at home, you’ll start to feel like yourself again. But unfortunately, sometimes a minor illness like a sinus infection or the flu can become deadly. This was the case when, on March 11th, a teenager from Flint, Michigan, passed away from complications due to a sinus infection.

According to local CBS affiliate WNEM, a doctor at an urgent care clinic diagnosed Marquel Brumley with a viral infection after the 13-year-old came in complaining of headaches and other cold-like symptoms. The doctor told Brumley and his family that the illness would “run its course,” but over the next few weeks, Brumley continued to get severe headaches and sought medical attention at several emergency rooms, where doctors thought he was suffering from migraines or tension headaches. In early March, Brumley again went to an emergency room with a severe headache, and an MRI revealed that an infection had spread to Brumley’s brain. The teenager was sent to a hospital in Ann Arbor for surgery, but after the procedure, he passed away.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Brumley’s family pay for his funeral expenses. As of this writing, more than $19,000 has been donated to help Brumley’s family.

According to People, the infection in Brumley’s brain had caused blood clots, resulting in strokes. But sinus infections can, in fact, go away on their own. The CDC states that most sinus infections are caused by viruses, meaning that taking antibiotics won’t make them go away. But in some cases, these infections can spread to other parts of the body like the brain or the eyes. Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a pediatrician, told People that these complications from sinus infections are extremely rare, however.

But even though sinus infections don’t usually spread to the brain, cases when they do can result in tragedy. Our hearts go out to Brumley’s loved ones during this difficult time.