HOCC: “Had I not been persistent, we would not have gotten treatment on time.”

By: Humans of Calvert County

“She came home from school one day and had a fever. She was seven. I worked for the pediatrician at that time so I called them up before they closed that day and they checked her out. She tested positive for strep. They gave her antibiotics and after 24 hours on the antibiotic, you’re supposed to be getting better. After 24 hours on the antibiotic, her fever was still there. I took her back at 48 hours and she was still testing positive for strep at that point, which was really weird. So they switched her to a different antibiotic. That was on a Friday, and over the weekend, she proceeded to get worse.

Her fever never broke and she ended up getting this rash on her body. Her eyes were bloodshot, and her lips were really red. So I called the doctor and said what was going on and she said I want to I want you to take her back into the office and I want you to test her for strep again and test for the flu. She tested negative for both.

So at that time with the symptoms she was experiencing, the doctor wanted me to take her to Children’s Hospital for an evaluation for Kawasaki Disease. When she said it, I immediately knew what she was talking about from working at the office. So we headed up to Children’s and of course I was a crying mess trying to keep it together in front of my baby. They took her blood, and they ran tests. Her fever was not responding to the medications, and at one point it jumped as high as 103.7 with Motrin. 

The tests came back inconclusive for Kawasaki Disease, but she had some of the matching markers. They decided to admit her to the hospital that night. The very next day the cardiologist did the echocardiogram and they noticed that there was some inflammation. Kawasaki Disease is actually a cardiovascular disease. It can cause heart aneurysms in the aorta. It’s the leading cause of acquired heart disease. Children five or under are the typical age range for onset. So she was out of that range at seven years old, but since they did see inflammation they decided to go ahead and treat her with this blood product. It was very expensive, and it was a 12-hour infusion for her, but after that, her fever finally broke. On the last day we were there, her fingers and toes started peeling, which was the last marker they needed to confirm that it was Kawasaki Disease.

It is very rare that she will get it again. Luckily for us, our pediatrician suspected it during the treatment window, so it didn’t cause additional heart problems. I was also very fortunate that I worked at the pediatrician’s office at that time, so I was persistent. I would tell every parent that if your child has a fever that doesn’t go away after five days, get it checked out. And if they are still having symptoms after they are being treated, get it checked out. Had I not been persistent, we would not have gotten treatment on time, and that would have had life-altering consequences for our daughter.”

David M. Higgins II

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in Digital Marketing, eventually leading him back to his passion. David started The Southern Maryland Chronicle in December 2017 and has grown it to become the #1 news source in Southern Maryland.

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