Brett’s Story

This is Kawasaki disease in Canada.


This is Brett’s story, as told by his mother, Stacey.

It started with a low fever and a lot of sleeping back in March 2015. With Brett being our third little boy, we have seen our share of viral infections, so we waited for it to pass. After a few days of the fever hanging on, we headed to the medi-centre. Another patient noticed a bit of a rash on his leg when his pant leg lifted a bit. I mentioned it to the doctor since we were already there, but we were sent home to wait out what looked like a virus. By that evening, we noticed that the small rash had spread up his leg and the fever had gone over 40C. We called Health Link (a free health advisory service in Alberta) for a recommendation the next day and were advised to stay home and booked an appointment with his paediatrician in a few days (the soonest available). Brett had stopped eating and was very lethargic on day 3, so I took him to our closest emergency room. We waited a few hours in the emergency waiting room and he perked up and seemed hungry, so I took him home without seeing a doctor. The next day we saw his paediatrician who mentioned Kawasaki disease. I Googled it and proceeded to panic. That doctor sent us to the children’s clinic in the city. Again, after hours in the waiting room, they checked him out and sent us home to wait out the virus. He had now had a fever over 40C for 4 days, hadn’t eaten anything, and was covered in a rash that kept moving all over his body. It was day 5 when his lips and tongue started cracking and bleeding that I went back to the children’s hospital and as kindly as I could manage, said that I wasn’t leaving until they found out what was wrong.

As it turns out, 5 days of high fever is the magic number to diagnose Kawasaki disease. He was given fluids by IV and on day 6 was given the IVIG treatment. Within minutes (or so it seemed) after the treatment, he was awake and hungry! They monitored him every 15 minutes for a few hours, but the fever had broken. I am forever thankful for the doctors and nurses at Stollery Children’s Hospital for not sending me home that night. Brett continues to have skin issues that I think might be related, but has had 5 years of clear ECGs and ultrasounds and has been cleared of any complications.


**Opinions expressed are those of the parent who submitted this story.