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Health scare that almost cost Randall Newsome his life

News 8 is getting personal, sharing the stories of our teammates facing medical issues that challenge families throughout Indiana.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Randall Newsome sits on the set of “All Indiana,” and each weekday his personality shines through the screen: smiling, laughing and always cracking jokes. 

But when Newsome was 15 years old, he experienced one of the darkest days of his life, and a health scare almost ended it. 

Sixteen years ago when Newsome was a sophomore in high school, one morning he knew something was wrong. “I started feeling a little heavy, like there was something weighing me down, and I felt a little flu-like and sluggish and really just off.”

But, Newsome headed to school anyway and told himself he’d tough it out. As the day progressed, so did his symptoms. By his last class of the day, Newsome found himself slumped over on his desk with a heaviness that he says felt as if someone had inserted a 10-pound dumbbell into the right side of his stomach. Instead of heading to baseball practice as he normally would, Newsome called his dad, Marcus. 

“We get home and I just tell him I’m going to go upstairs and lay down for a little bit…and he said that was a good idea until we figure out what’s going on. Let’s just make sure you get some rest and see where we’re at.”

But he was in too much pain to rest. His dad called a doctor and described his son’s symptoms. The doctor told him his son needed to go to the emergency room immediately 

When Newsome arrived at the hospital he was told he was having an appendicitis attack. 

The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch on the right side of a person’s abdomen. Appendicitis occurs when the organ becomes inflamed, swollen and infected and needs to be removed.

“I remember sleeping gas and I remember somebody asking me, ‘Oh, so you play sports,’ and then I was out.”

But when Newsome came out of surgery he learned it wasn’t his appendicitis. The cause of his illness was a result of something else. Doctors asked him if he had recently swallowed something sharp. The answer was yes.

A few weeks earlier, Newsome had ate an apple. When he bit into it a metal piece of his braces broke off and he swallowed it. The metal piece punctured a hole in a part of his intestine called the cecum. For weeks, an infection had been building in his system. The doctors told Newsome and his dad if they hadn’t come to the hospital for surgery when they did, Newsome could’ve died.

“It’s weird to think about the idea that I might not be here, but when you have a scar that reminds you every day that you could’ve easily not been here, it’s a reminder that we can’t take life for granted.”

By sharing his story, Newsome also wants to help others. Here’s his message to you: “If something feels weird and your body doesn’t feel right in any kind of way, just get it checked out. I’ve done so many stories here at WISH-TV where early detection was the only difference maker. Not treatment, not anything else. When you feel something might be wrong go get it checked out.”