One year ago today, our Leevster was admitted to Texas Children’s Hospital. He had a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a puzzled pediatrician. At the age of 10, Levi was a strong little boy who fought and never gave up. Leevster did not fit the age profile for Kawasaki Disease. Usually the disease is seen in children under the age of five. Since we did not know what Levi had until almost a week later, I had to stay away from the hospital since the baby was only 3 months old at the time. Rhea took off work and stayed with Leevster 24/7 at the hospital.
I was finally able to see Leevster after he had been in the hospital almost a week. The doctors decided that even though we didn’t know what we were dealing with, Leevster needed his mother. At the time, he had not been diagnosed yet. It was the most frightening time in my life. We prayed, cried out to God, and prayed some more.
On the day I finally got to see him, Leevster had developed pneumonia. He was struggling in so many areas. The fluid build up around his organs was caused by the Kawasaki Disease. As soon as our little guy was diagnosed and given gamma globulin and baby aspirin, he began to improve quickly! Leevster was diagnosed on day nine of his KD and he suffered no lasting heart damage. We praise God for his team of doctors at TCH. Leevster was definitely one of ‘the’ cases while he was there. He had a consistent stream of medical personnel standing outside his door looking through his chart!
We also praise God for allowing us to continue to raise our wonderful boy to serve Him all the days of his life!
Please take a minute and review the symptoms of Kawasaki Disease. Although doctors have not figured out yet how one gets KD, there is a cure if caught in time!
Kawasaki Disease is characterized by an inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body. There is no specific test for KD; doctors make a clinical diagnosis based on a collection of symptoms and physical findings. Early symptoms of KD include:
* Fever that lasts for five or more days
* Rash, often worse in the groin area
* Red bloodshot eyes, without drainage or crusting
* Bright red, swollen, cracked lips, “strawberry” tongue, which appears with shiny bright red spots after the top coating sloughs off
* Swollen hands and feet and redness of the palms and soles of the feet
* Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Understandably, children with these symptoms are extremely uncomfortable and irritable. Any parent whose child has persistent fever and any of these symptoms should take him or her to the doctor immediately.
Without treatment, about 25% of children develop heart disease involving the coronary arteries. Timely diagnosis and treatment (which usually includes intravenous gamma globulin) is highly effective in preventing coronary complications. For more information, please visit the Kawasaki Disease Foundation website.
Below: Our Leevster minutes after arriving home from the hospital. He was so anxious to see his baby sister!