Posted on June 9th, 2017
Machelle (Oliver's Grandmother/Legal Guardian)
The morning after Thanksgiving, 2016, our 15-month-old boy, Oliver, woke up with a high fever and a dreadful cough. Due to a packed schedule, his pediatrician’s office couldn’t schedule an appointment for him that day. Ollie’s fever would only come down with ibuprofen and Tylenol, but it wouldn’t stay down.
Oliver didn’t have much of an appetite. He took a long nap that afternoon. He played with us, but he was off. Something about him just wasn’t right.
By evening, Oliver’s cough worsened and he began gasping for breath. The look on his face was that of fear. We rushed him to the emergency department at our local hospital.
At triage, we were told he “probably” just had a virus and that they wouldn’t do anything for him that I wasn’t already doing at home. A cardio-pulmonary nurse came to give Oliver a breathing treatment, but she decided not to because Oliver’s heart rate was so high. I pleased with the nurse for blood work and a chest x-ray because I thought Ollie had pneumonia. The waiting room was packed with people and she said we would have to wait at least 8 hours, but the doctors don’t order those tests for viruses. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) She suggested Oliver get some sleep and if he got worse, we should bring him back to the hospital. Taking her advise, we took Oliver home and put him to bed.
Oliver never woke up. It wasn’t until we got Ollie’s autopsy report that we found out what had happened. We read a strange word. Sepsis. The cause of Oliver’s death was sepsis due to a bacterial lung infection. I had to google sepsis to find out what that was! We had no idea a child could get sepsis. We had never heard of it! (Sepsis and Bacterial Infections)
It’s tragic that more people don’t know what sepsis is, let alone the signs and symptoms. What’s worse, is our hospital’s trained medical professionals didn’t seem to know about sepsis, either. Oliver had signs of sepsis at the hospital, but they all were overlooked.
We lost our sweet boy to something that could have been prevented and/or treated, but no one knew about the deadly condition called sepsis.