A mother whose one-year-old spent weeks in an ICU asked parents to not send sick children to day care or school.
Carmen Bremiller, 27, of Barker, New York, said her youngest, now age one, did not attend school or day care. One of her other four children was apparently exposed to RSV at school and brought it home to her.
The mother of five noted parents should realize not every child may have as strong an immune system as their child, which could imperil another child’s health.
Fox News further reported:
A mother of five is asking parents to keep their sick children at home after a recent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) outbreak infected three of her daughters and led to a frightening hospitalization for one of them.
Bremiller told Fox News Digital that all five of her children — Sophia, 10, Ashlynn, 6, Caroline, 4, Ava, 3, and Kinsley, 1 — caught the common cold in early September after they returned to in-person schooling for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
She said she kept her children home for one week until they seemed to recover, but by early October, they exhibited cold-like symptoms once more.
This included fevers, eye mucus and loss of appetite, according to Bremiller.
“I called their doctor’s office and talked to the nurse, wanting them to be seen, but was told they just had a cold and to treat it as such. So, that’s what I did,” Bremiller recalled.
Three of her daughters, who were all under the age of five, had high fevers and Bremiller reportedly gave them over-the-counter pain relievers to try to ease their discomfort.
Bremiller said she contacted her children’s doctor’s office again about her concerns because she felt the kids were sick for an abnormally long period, but she was repeatedly told their symptoms were likely connected to the earlier cold they had.
Then, around Oct. 6, Bremiller said the local Head Start program where two of her daughters were enrolled reportedly informed her that there were confirmed cases of flu, pink eye, croup and RSV.
Bremiller said three of her daughters were then diagnosed with RSV after she took them to an urgent care for evaluation.
“My two middle children became pretty sick but got over it on their own and are doing much better,” Bremiller said. “Unfortunately, my youngest daughter didn’t do so well with it.”
Kinsley, who’s now a year old, experienced occasional fast breathing, but she didn’t appear to be in respiratory distress, according to Bremiller.
Then she stopped drinking fluids completely.
When medical staff examined Kinsley on Oct. 12, her oxygen levels were found to be low, and they remained that way even when she was given an oxygen mask.
Bremiller said Kinsley was transferred to a children’s hospital in Buffalo via ambulance and that emergency room staff determined her child had pneumonia from a chest X-ray, while blood work confirmed RSV was still present.
Kinsley’s left lung had water in it, so she was moved to the ICU and put on an external ventilator, Bremiller recalled.
Her condition worsened and she had to be intubated and sedated.
“It was extremely hard seeing her like that,” Bremiller told Fox News Digital. “With a tube down her throat, completely unconscious, and all kinds of lines and IVs. I tried not to cry.”
She continued, “I felt responsible. How could I not know how sick she was? Why didn’t I take her in sooner? How could something like this happen so fast?”
Kinsley’s three-week hospitalization included more medical scares for the child.
There was a temporary blood clot from an arterial line in her leg, which required treatment; a change in color when her oxygen level dropped again, which required a ventilator switch; and signs of anemia, which required a blood transfusion, all according to Bremiller.
Kinsley’s vital signs took a hit when a mucus plug got stuck in her airway on Oct. 18, Bremiller said.
“She had low heart rate, low blood pressure and her oxygen level went down to 60%,” Bremiller recalled. “They gave her albuterol and that opened up her airways, got the mucus plug out and got her oxygen up. They gave her some medicine to also help with her blood pressure. After that, she seemed stable but had a high heart rate.”
“On Oct. 29, my baby was officially off the ventilator,” Bremiller said, later adding that Kinsley also came off the feeding tube, IVs, arterial lines and sedation medication.
“I cried as I was finally able to hold her again after two-and-a-half weeks, which felt like years.”
Kinsley was hospitalized for 24 days. She returned home on Nov. 4.
“This whole experience was an up-and-down rollercoaster for Kinsley,” Bremiller told Fox News Digital.
“Kinsley’s official diagnosis was RSV, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and now asthma,” she continued. “She’s on an inhaler four times a day. After about three months they will reevaluate.”
The 1-year-old is currently on “a lot of different medications” and she has follow-up appointments with doctors and specialists; these include a pulmonology reevaluation and a sleep study to determine if Kinsley has sleep apnea, Bremiller said.
“Kinsley has a long road ahead of her until she’s back to 100%,” Bremiller said.
She told Fox News Digital that she wants parents to know that they shouldn’t send their kids to school or day care if they’re sick.
“You may be frustrated and not able to find someone to watch them so you can work, but figure it out,” Bremiller said.
“You may even blame the school for getting your child sick in the first place. And that may be true, but it doesn’t make it right or OK to knowingly send your child to school with a virus that’s contagious and harmful to other children.”
Bremiller also said, “My baby didn’t go to day care or school; her older sisters got sick from school and brought it home. Just know not everyone is your child and not everyone has the immune system your child has. Your child might be fine, but that doesn’t mean someone else’s will be. So, please think twice before sending your sick kids to school.”
“Just remember next time, my baby could be your baby.”
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