Understanding-Kawasaki-Syndrome-MainPhotoLos Tweens


UPDATED November 15th, 2017

Mother’s Day, 2009—My husband is in Maryland visiting his very ill grandmother. My toddler is with my mother.  Our plans for brunch were canceled. I’m in the emergency room of the local children’s hospital with my tween Maddy.

The pediatrician had called an hour earlier to follow up on our visit to her office. Maddy had a fever, rash and swollen fingers and toes. The doctor was concerned but I figured it was strep throat. By that Sunday, Maddy no longer had a fever and the rash had gone away but her hands and feet were still swollen and starting to peel. The pediatrician was concerned. Really concerned. “It may be Kawasaki disease,” she said.

Until then, to me Kawasaki meant motorcycles and jet. I had no idea what she was talking about. I didn’t know that I was lucky my daughter was still alive. And, I had no idea that the pediatrician was going against the odds by making this initial diagnosis.

Read Related: 7 Medicines You Should Never Give Your Children

Kawasaki disease or Kawasaki syndrome is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the body’s blood vessels. It affects the body’s blood vessels, skin, mucous membranes and lymph nodes. In the most serious cases it can affect the heart and cause death. If left untreated, 25% of children develop heart disease.

The disease primarily affects young children and about 80% of patients are five years old and younger. Kawasaki disease is more prevalent in boys and children of Asian and Pacific Island descent. But Maddy was seven-years old, a girl and without a drop (as far as we know) of Asian or Pacific Island blood.

Read the full article on Los Tweens.