Baby's life put at risk by a kiss from virus carrier
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
A STAINDROP mother says her “miracle baby’” is lucky to be alive after a kiss on the lips caused an agonising eczema rash and now wants to warn other parents of the danger.
Brogan Thomas, 22, of Bromley Court, said her one-year-old daughter, Kaylah-May, spent four days in hospital before Christmas after she developed an angry rash, covering most of her body.
Ms Thomas, said she and her fiance, Connor Merritt, discovered the rash when they went to bath their daughter, who was born one month prematurely and was struck down with meningitis at only five months, undergoing a lumbar puncture to survive.
She said: “When I changed her there was nothing, but a couple of hours later when I got her ready for a bath she was covered. It looked really sore and was all over her legs and arms and even on her face. She was crying when we touched her.”
The couple took their daughter to Darlington Memorial Hospital where doctors took blood tests to determine what had caused the rash.
Ms Thomas, who only found out she was pregnant with Kaylah-May when she was in hospital about to have a hysterectomy, added: “Because of the rash we thought the meningitis had come back. But after they did the blood tests they said it was eczema caused by a cold sore virus.”
She said doctors informed them the virus, eczema herpeticum, was caused by the herpes virus, can be fatal for children under two and can cause blindness if it is not treated quickly. She added: “Because someone kissed Kaylah-May on the lips it was spread orally and started inside her lip. The doctors told us that you don’t even have to have a cold sore, just being a carrier of the virus is enough to spread it.”
Ms Thomas said she and her daughter remained in hospital for four days while doctors treated her with two rounds of antibiotics and applied seven different dermatological creams.
When she was released from hospital GPs had to call at the house every day to check on Kaylah-May’s progress and even now
she has five creams applied daily.
Ms Thomas said: “They said under two years old are particularly vulnerable because their immune system isn’t as strong as an adults.
“I just wanted to let other people know of the dangers. I wouldn’t want anyone else to through what we’ve been through. The doctors said if we hadn’t taken her into hospital when we did it could have been a lot worse.”
Ms Thomas said since sharing the information on her social media page she has been contacted by people from all over the world asking questions. She said: “It’s just amazing how many people have got in touch, even someone in Australia. They didn’t know about it either. Last year was an awful year for us. First Kaylah-May got meningitis and developed septicemia and then just when we thought we were over that she developed the rash. She’s not 100 per cent yet and normally she would sleep in her own room, but she has become really clingy to both me and Connor.”
Ms Thomas is hoping their medical dramas are behind them and is looking forward to planning her wedding. She is determined her daughter will be a flower girl.