Posted on March 2nd, 2018
Maria, Misael's mother
It was towards the end of August of 2017 when Misael woke up throwing up in the middle of the night. I recall running to the bathroom to see which of my kids was sick. It was my son Misael, who told me that he thought he ate something that did not sit right on his stomach the day before. I stayed with him until he felt he had done what he needed, he was tired and after he went back to sleep. Again a couple hours later he woke up to throwing up again, in which I thought he must have had something that did not sit well with him and did not think nothing more of it.
Later in the morning he woke up very tired. I asked if he wanted to go to the walk in, but he declined telling me that all he wanted to do was lay down and rest. I let him do just that on that Sunday, but constantly checked him and suddenly he had a temperature of 101 degrees. I also noticed that he had a bluish discoloration on his skin. Misael also started to have shivers and just wanted to be under his covers, and was just very weak to move around by himself that he required our help to walk. I told him that we were to go to the walk in around 3 o’clock and he declined again. I’m thinking that he was just too tired to even try to get up. He told me that if he felt worse he would let me know, but my kid is very stubborn and he tried to hide how bad he was feeling.
I recall doing some chores, went grocery shopping and when I came back from the store, I checked on him. He was lethargic that he would not even talk. I turned the light on in his room and immediately noticed that my son was not all there, like he was just very blue, pale looking and very weak. I had this weird feeling that he was just not right and decided to take him into the emergency room. His dad carried him from his room to the truck and I drove off with my son, not thinking that we would not be back home until days later.
At the emergency room they took him in right away seeing him how he was. He had a fever of 102, had a low blood pressure and his heart seemed like it might pop out due to how fast it was going. The doctor came in and ordered a strep throat test, thinking that he had the flu. They put him on fluids and gave him meds for the fever. Test came back negative for strep and then blood work was ordered. Test came back and they told me that they showed an infection, but where not sure what kind. They started asking me all sorts of question, had he had any cuts, surgeries, had he had pneumonia or any other kind of sickness. He had not had any of those at all. Misael has been a perfectly healthy kid and the only thing that came to my mind is a mosquito bite that had been itching him for a week that he told me about, but that Friday before he said that it was no longer itching and he had scarred already. Doctors immediately looked at it, and to my surprise it looked like a big cyst on the bottom of his butt. They cut it open and had it drained. They also sent it to get tested, but the results would take days to get back. Other doctors came in and it was being explained to me that they suspected he had a blood infection and that he needed to be transferred to Children’s Hospital immediately so he could get treatment.
He was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and when he went in, he immediately was admitted to the ICU unit in which we would spend the rest of the days praying for my son. His heart rate would not regulate and his blood pressure was very low. Misael would barely speak to us, as he just was too tired. Thankfully he never lost consciousness, but seeing him not his normal self was scary. A day in at the ICU, a doctor came in and explained that Misael was in septic shock and they started vasoactive medications to increase his blood pressure. It took three days before his blood pressure would regulate and his heart would beat normally. On the 5th day Misael was able to fully speak and smile for the first time since he got sick. It was a relief to start seeing him be himself. He was on hard core antibiotics since he was admitted, but thankfully to the staff at the first hospital my son was able to be treated for sepsis.
I will never forget what the doctor at Children’s Hospital told me when I asked why his blood pressure and heart would not regulate. He told me, ma’am your son is slowly dying from sepsis and this is very serious. We are trying the best we can and we will be checking him regularly to make sure that the medication is working. He also said they where trying to figure out what specific antibiotic he would need instead of giving him the one that treated for a variety of infections. When he told me this, I felt weak and many things came through my mind, I was asking myself what happened? Why did this happen? Should I have taken him into the emergency room sooner? Luckily Misael started to respond to the vasos and he was slowly getting better. Finally on August 30th he was being discharged home, but with a PICC line so he could get the antibiotic at home.
He was on the PICC line at home for one whole week, A nurse would come and administer the medicine. He was weak, but back to his normal silly self. I’m so glad and grateful to the staff that suspected sepsis and to my motherly instinct of taking him to the emergency room when I did. I could have easily thought it was the stomach flu and ignored it until I booked an appointment with our family doctor, but I’m glad I did not wait much longer than I did. We all know our kids better than anyone else and if you feel something is not right and your kid or loved one has sepsis symptoms please take them in to the emergency room and let them know you suspect sepsis.
We need to make everyone aware that this is real and that sepsis is a medical emergency. Unfortunately two months later the sister of our friend passed away due to sepsis, and it was misdiagnosed as the flu by medical staff. Sepsis was not diagnosed until after her passing away, she was only 16 years old. Let’s help prevent this by sharing what we know about sepsis.