“My baby boy nearly had a heart attack”

A persistent fever turned out to be something far more serious… One mum details her son’s battle with Kawasaki disease.

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“Now 19 months, my only child, HaoMing, was born healthy and didn’t have any medical issues. He is a cheerful and determined child who smiles a lot.

Unfortunately, he has been through so much trauma in his early months, he's quite afraid of medical staff now.

It all started when he was just 14 weeks old.

As he had a high fever of 39 deg C, I thought it was related to the vaccination he had taken the week earlier.

On the second day of his fever, we brought him to the hospital. He was given antibiotics, then discharged after a night’s stay the next day. A blood test was done, but there was no conclusion as to what was causing the fever.

That very night, after we were discharged from the hospital, HaoMing’s fever went up to 40 deg C. The temperature didn’t drop, even after we gave him his medication. His pee was orangey because his milk intake had dropped drastically ― he had taken less than 300ml in the last 24 hours.

His eyes were bloodshot, and his lips became very red and cracked.”

We rushed back to the hospital, but we were turned away because there weren’t enough beds, so we had to go to the National University Hospital (NUH) instead. It was a mad scramble at 1.30am that morning.

By this time, more symptoms started showing. A rash appeared, starting from his groin area, all the way up to his forehead area. His eyes were bloodshot, and his lips became very red and cracked.

The doctor was still unable to make a definite diagnosis and I was told it could be measles, Kawasaki disease or a viral fever.

At this time, we did not know anything about the disease. I was tired to the bone as it was already the fourth day of me getting only two hours of rest each day, taking care of HaoMing.

I couldn’t absorb much of what the doctors were saying and just trusted them to treat him. I only recognised the word ‘measles’ and wondered where he could have gotten it, since he was so young and we didn’t even go out much. We were moved to an isolation ward for a few days until the blood test showed for certain that it was not measles. The doctors decided to give him IVIG, or Intravenous Immunoglobulin, on Day 5.

We took turns to be at the hospital, and we made an effort to take of ourselves, so that we would be in the right condition to care for Haoming. We had to be sensible, so that things wouldn’t fall apart.