“My 4-year-old son couldn’t walk suddenly”

Little Joel felt such intense pain in his calves after a fever, he couldn’t move. His mother recounts his experience…


“My son, Joel, is 4 this year. He’s a very outgoing and active child, extremely friendly and a total chatterbox!

He has always been a healthy child and hardly ever falls ill. I think it’s because I breastfed him till he was 4, plus, he loves his fruits and vegetables.

A few weeks ago, on a Wednesday, Joel came down with a cough. He developed a fever the following evening. He was really lethargic and had little or no appetite.

On Thursday night, his fever shot up to 39.2 deg C. It didn’t subside, even after a dose of paracetamol. I sponged him through the night, hoping to bring his temperature down.

The next day, he was still not eating, aside from some apples. Thankfully, we could still keep him hydrated with some ice cubes.

Joel crawled out of his room after his afternoon nap, complaining of feeling pain in his calves.”

He was vomiting, too, though it was just liquids, as he wasn’t eating much.

Finally, on Saturday, his temperature seemed to be going down, so we thought that the fever had finally broken. However, he was still lethargic and developed a rash on Saturday night.

I read that having a rash following a fever was common, and I thought it may be just “slapped cheek syndrome” ― a mild infection that comes after a fever and usually clears up in a couple of weeks.

But on Sunday, Joel crawled out of his room after his afternoon nap, complaining of feeling pain in his calves. After resting for a while, he managed to walk.

I texted a friend who is a physiotherapist. I considered seeing her the next day, since Joel’s leg was still painful, but after asking me a few questions, she suggested that I send him to the paediatrician instead.