Wallace Ostrowski


Wallace was a bright, intelligent, beautiful little boy. A few days before his 2nd birthday he was a little under the weather. We took him to the doctor’s and he was diagnosed with an ear infection. He was prescribed antibiotics and he stayed home missing his birthday party (which was shared with his older brother).

He finished his antibiotics, and was feeling much better. We enjoyed and Easter with family and fun. Wallace went back to playing with his friends at daycare and everything seemed normal. Until a week later, when we picked him up from daycare and he had yet another fever.

We spent the weekend trying to fend it off with fever reducers. When that didn’t help, we had another visit to the doctor’s. It seemed as though the ear infection hadn’t cleared entirely. Since it hadn’t even been a month since he was on antibiotics, he was prescribed a different type.

His stomach didn’t seem to have been entirely back to normal from the last round. We were advised that things round of antibiotics might be a bit harsher.

Again he was home from daycare camped out on the couch watching Mickey Mouse. But this time it seemed like the medicine wasn’t helping. None of it. His fever pretty much wouldn’t go away. He barely wanted to he. He just laid there, unhappily.

Several days later we noticed he had a really bad diaper rash. He’s our third child, so we’d seen our fair share of rough diaper rashes and yeast infections. This seemed worse. So, again we made a trip to the doctor’s.

I explained the almost constant low-grade fever, the lethargy, and the really bad diaper rash. The doctor looked at his ears, and confirmed they were free of infection. He assumed it was a viral infection causing the fever and lethargy. Since the antibiotics were causing the upset stomach, and therefore the diaper rash, he advised we stop giving that.

Overall, he seemed unconcerned and said Wallace would probably turn around by midweek. I left the doctor’s feeling unsure, but had no reason to doubt him.

By midweek Wallace was no better. We got up one morning and the fever was gone. But, for some reason, that made me feel scared. He was cold and clammy. He still refused food and we had to force him to drink anything. He still laid listless on the couch.

Later that day I made the decision to take him to the ER. By the time I was ready to leave, he closed his eyes and became unresponsive. I called 911. They came and my husband rode in the ambulance to the hospital.

Following in our car, a few minutes later my husband called to let me know they lost Wallace’s pulse. They hadn’t even made it to the ER yet.

By the time I got to the hospital, they walked me to the room where they worked on trying to restart my baby’s heart. After less than half an hour, there was nothing more they could do. He was gone.

A few days later we received the autopsy results. He had an anorectal abscess that caused peritonitis, leading to sepsis. That’s what killed my 2-year-old.

When we informed our pediatrician, he was surprised. The possibility never crossed his mind. It was something we never even knew to be aware of. Ignorance caused my son’s death. I didn’t have to happen. I can only hope putting Wallace’s story out there will grow awareness and prevent even on death from Sepsis.

For our “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.”
WFO 3.27.20-5.12.22

Source: Kelly Ostrowski - mother

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