Mom’s warning after child was hospitalized for coronavirus-related Kawasaki disease

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One mom told how her toddler son was hospitalized for five days for Kawasaki disease – a disease now linked to coronavirus that shares similar symptoms.

Chloé Knight, 22, was terrified when her two-year-old son Freddie Merrylees fell ill just before the lockdown and was “like a zombie” due to Kawasaki disease, a rare disease now linked to Covid-19.

The tot had a rash on his body, high temperature, red eyes and had trouble eating and drinking after falling ill on March 11.

Doctors first suspected it was scarlet fever, but it was eventually diagnosed as Kawasaki disease – now feared to be linked to the coronavirus, and which shared symptoms such as loss of taste and smell.

Freddie was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh three times before doctors were convinced his symptoms were compatible with the disease

Mom of two Chloé took the sick child to a general practitioner on March 12, when he suffered from a rash, and was diagnosed with penicillin and a scarlet fever diagnosis.



Freddie Merrylees with his mother Chloé Knight

But he developed worrisome symptoms such as a cat around his mouth and had trouble swallowing, worrying Chloé, a part-time bank worker and her partner Marcus Morwood, 23.

When Freddie went to stay with his father, Robbie, 23, who is in the military – who was also alarmed by the symptoms that got worse.

On March 16, he was hospitalized and tests by doctors at the hospital also revealed that the valves leading to Freddie’s heart had swollen due to the inflammatory infection.

After five days, Freddie was allowed to leave the hospital – but Chloé then developed what she feared to be symptoms of coronavirus, including loss of taste and odor.



Little Freddie has developed an unpleasant rash around his mouth and body

Chloe said, “First, a rash appeared on his chest and back, and the next day he was covered with a red rash.

“The doctors thought it was scarlet fever and I wasn’t questioning it at all.

“He went to see his father that evening and his father said that he was really not himself.

“Friday night his father called me to tell me that Freddie didn’t want anyone to watch or talk to him.

“The rash started to spread and looked like crusty sores.

“We took him to Sick Kids Hospital and they thought it might be measles, but he got MMR.

“On Saturday, his father said he really didn’t agree with that, and on Sunday, when he got home, he didn’t want to be touched, looked at or talked about.

“I called NHS 24, and Freddie’s nose started to shed blood.

“I was told to take him to Sick Kids Hospital, and we were told that it could be a bad case of scarlet fever.

“I felt that something worse was wrong with him. “

Freddie was sent home with penicillin, but refused to eat it when it was hidden in yogurt.

On March 16, he appeared “lifeless” and was lying on the couch staring into space.



Freddie Merrylees is now on the mend

His worried mom took him back to the hospital, where the possibility of Kawasaki disease was mentioned, with Freddie placed in an isolated room because scarlet fever was still suspected amid fears of contagion.

But he did not have flaking hands and feet, a common symptom.

On March 17, doctors detected a heart murmur – raising further fears that it could be Kawasaki disease.

The following day, a cardiac analysis was performed and on March 19, Freddie was transferred to a general department.

On March 20, a heart test was sent for analysis to Glasgow and revealed that her heart valves were swollen.

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The tot was prescribed aspirin and omeprazole, which were prescribed for six weeks, and penicillin for seven days.

However, there are no tests for Kawasaki disease and the diagnosis is based on symptoms.

Chloe said: “If it is not treated properly and quickly, it can cause heart disease.

“It is not contagious and when Freddie was sick, we separated them.

“They were treating him for Kawasaki but there are no tests.

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Coronavirus in Scotland

“I wanted it to be tested for coronavirus, and I wanted to be tested for coronavirus, but they said they couldn’t do that.

“I can’t say enough about the NHS.

“Even now, he’s talking about wanting to go out to get germs, so he can go to the hospital.

“We need to do more research on Kawasaki disease, it’s extremely rare.

“He is on the mend now and is returning to his usual state. “

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