Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Three of the Scariest Letters Ever: RSV

When you have a preemie a ton of things go running through your mind, especially illness. I remember the doctors talking to us about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). As soon as I heard everything about it I was scared to death that Kendall was going to get it and could possibly die because of it. The doctors told us what it was and that it is very dangerous for any child to get, that it was 10 times worse for a preemie, and 15 times worse for a child with lung issues (which Kendall had). I remember just hoping and praying that it wouldn’t happen. The winter months went by and Kendall finally got to come home. We were excited and could not wait to get the girls together.

A year went by and everything was going great with the girls. They were starting to catch up with milestones and were improving each and every day. It was early February and Kendall started acting funny and we weren’t sure what was going on, we knew she was getting sick but not sure what it was. We decided to see how things went the next day, we called the doctor and they told us to make sure we were getting fluids in her, to keep her hydrated, and to wait a few days and see if things got better.

After waiting that night, Kendall had stopped eating and using the restroom so we started to get even more worried and on top of that she had pretty much been asleep for 36 hours. I immediately called the doctor back and filled them in on the situation. When we went to the doctor they said it looked like she had an ear infection and it was turning into pneumonia. We were told to see if things got better over night and if they didn’t we would go from there. The night went on and things never got better, she was still sleeping a ton and had stopped drinking fluids. We called her doctor and they told us to get her to the hospital right away.

We ventured to the ER of course and they again told us it looked like pneumonia but they were going to test her for RSV. I immediately cringed and thought oh no, there are those words again. I immediately started praying and hoping my little girl did not have it, she had already been through so much and I wasn’t ready to see her struggle again.

They went ahead and admitted her to the hospital and came back about 30 minutes later and told us that we would be here for awhile. Not only did she have bilateral pneumonia but she had also tested positive for RSV. I was devastated and all I could think about was making my little girl better, that it wasn’t her time to go and for the doctors to please save her.

After sitting in the hospital for a week with my baby girl, things started to get better. Her breathing was getting better, she was starting to eat again, and she was being awake more often. We couldn’t get her oxygen down though so her doctor came in and said at this point it was up to us, we could either stay in the hospital or we could take her home but she would be on oxygen. We chose to take her home with the oxygen.

When we got home she started getting back to her old self and things started to get better. After a week longer she was off the oxygen and breathing just fine. The doctors to this day are still amazed at how well she bounced back. Kendall was down with RSV for about 2 1/2 weeks and the doctors said most cases are a minimum of 2 months so we are very thankful for the hospital, doctors, nurses, family, and friends that helped support Kendall and get her back on track. RSV is very scary and I don’t wish it to happen to anyone. I just recommend that you know what it is and the warning signs so that it can be treated right away.

Melissa McMurchy About Melissa McMurchy

Melissa McMurchy (OH) is the mother of twin daughters, Brooklynn and Kendall, born three months early, weighing 1.4 and 2.7 pounds. Brooklynn coasted through all milestones and is currently only behind in speech. Kendall, with an eleven-month hospital stay, is a bit spunkier with three broken bones, multiple blood transfusions and six surgeries under her belt. The journey has been long, but the lessons many. Melissa is a lover of sports, the smell of rain and miracles. You can follow her on Twitter or on her personal blog, Two Miracles.

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