It’s a scary thing when your child gets sick and you don’t know what’s wrong with them or how to fix it. It’s even scarier when doctors don’t know what’s wrong with your child and can’t tell you how to fix it.
That’s the nightmare that Natasha Durling found herself in when her son Oliver Durling was experiencing symptoms of pain, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and sore muscles.
But when Oliver‘s condition didn’t improve and got even worse, Natasha was convinced that something was seriously wrong with him. If she hadn’t trusted her intuition despite doctors disagreeing with her, Oliver might not still be alive today. Now she’s sharing his story to encourage other parents to always listen to their guts when it comes to their children.
Over the next few days, poor Oliver’s illness grew worse, to the point that he was no longer eating or drinking.
The worried mother kept worried friends and family updated on Facebook, posting how Oliver had never been this sick before. She wrote:
“Monday morning comes along, he’s even worse. He’s not eating or drinking at all, won’t get up, not using the bathroom and now has a slight rash forming on his neck and face. He has swollen lymph nodes and his eyes are completely bloodshot. I panic … and [get] myself ready and head straight for Annapolis hospital to have him checked out.”
Oliver woke up the next morning complaining that his leg hurt and he was afraid he might be dying.
“He is covered from head to toe in the worst rash I have ever seen,” Natasha said.“His fever (with Tylenol and Benadryl) was past 40° (104 Fahrenheit) and his lips were so swollen that they were cracked and bleeding.”
Natasha again took him to the hospital, where he had some blood work done and was given an IV. But things only got worse.
While Oliver was trying to get a urine sample (and struggling due to his dehydration,) he started screaming, telling his mom he couldn’t see and was going blind. His mother rushed to his aid, and he went stiff and fell into her arms, according to her Facebook post.
The nurse rushed him to the ICU, where the doctors were finally able to find a diagnosis – not measles, but Kawasaki disease, a heart disease that causes inflammation of the heart and blood vessels.
While Kawasaki is rare, it is fortunately treatable. It is most commonly found in infants and toddlers, but once diagnosed, they recover within a few days.
The rare condition is described by the Mayo Clinic:
Kawasaki disease causes inflammation in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body. It primarily affects children. The inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. Kawasaki disease is sometimes called mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome because it also affects lymph nodes, skin, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose and throat. Signs of Kawasaki disease, such as a high fever and peeling skin, can be frightening. The good news is that Kawasaki disease is usually treatable, and most children recover from Kawasaki disease without serious problems.
Natasha also says that vaccinations are what ultimately saved her son’s life:
“If Oliver didn’t have his vaccinations, he would be dead right now. The vaccines lessened the severity of the measles while his body ALSO fought the Kawasaki disease.”
Now, Natasha urges parents to trust their guts. “Fight for your kids if something doesn’t seem right! We know our kids, so don’t take no for an answer” she wrote on her Facebook update.
Natasha is a great example of a persistent mother who knows what’s best for her children. Trust your instinct as a parent and do what you believe is best for them.
Sources: OpposingViews, Daily Mail, Mayo Clinic