A mother whose newborn baby was hospitalized shared her story in hopes that she would draw attention to a viral infection that can easily be transmitted to babies.
Jeni Beattie’s son Sam was hospitalized with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) on Wednesday evening after she noticed he had a cough and changed his diet and breathing.
She says many people may be unaware of the consequences of kissing and handling a baby.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a very common virus that enters the system through the windpipe. It then penetrates the lungs and causes the smallest airways in the lungs called bronchioles to swell, Belfast Live Reports.
More mucus is produced, which can cause the airways to become blocked, making breathing difficult for children with already smaller airways.
Co Armagh’s mother of three, who works as a midwife, told Belfast Live: “On Tuesday, Sam started coughing a little, which would not be normal for an eight-week-old.
“The next day he hadn’t eaten well, he wasn’t feeding as much as usual. He was breathing a little more than normal in bed, quick breaths. I watched him for a while and then I … put him on ED.
“He was then admitted on Wednesday evening. They had told me that days three to five are the worst of the disease, so I admitted him at the beginning of the third day.
“You prepared me that he would be a lot worse before he got better. I wasn’t really prepared because I had to call my husband on Friday morning because they were thinking of bringing him to the Royal for ventilation.
“Fortunately, he didn’t need that and stayed where he was.”
Jeni said she wanted to raise awareness of RSV in young children and thank the staff at Blossom Station at Craigavon Area Hospital.
She added, “So many people think that their right to kiss and handle a new baby is their right, and they may not know the consequences.
“I wasn’t really aware of RSV before, even with the medical background. Our hospitals don’t usually have it this time of year and it’s already full of it. There are very high numbers and we have what they say is RSV season still.
“Healthcare is already under heavy pressure and I think it’s a really tough winter ahead of us. If I can share this to prevent another case of this type, hopefully it will help this burden. That’s why I posted it. If that helps someone else to go through this was worth it, I suppose.
“It was confirmed that Sam had RSV on Monday morning. He is on the mend now but it has been a really scary week for all of us. It was tough.”
“The staff here at the hospital were fantastic. From the helper who covered me up at night when I fell asleep on the bed, the housemaid who knew how to drink my coffee, the nurses who wiped my tears and sang to my baby, to put your mind at ease, the doctors I trust so much, with their friendliness and professionalism, they always keep me up to date and give me so much confidence in their work. “
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