Claire’s Story

This is Kawasaki disease in Canada.


This is Claire’s story, as told by her mother, Kendra.

Thankfully our Kawasaki disease story has a happy ending.

Claire came home from school one afternoon fevered with a headache and sore throat. The next day I was thinking she had strep throat, as she is prone to that and had similar symptoms although I saw no pus on her tonsils like I usually do with strep. I also noticed that she had swollen lymph nodes in her neck. Unsure, I took her to the doctor for a swab to see. The rapid strep came back positive and she was started on her usual dose of amoxicillin. Two days later, she was still no better which is almost unheard of in her tradition of strep. Her fever ranged from 39C to 40C+ — Tylenol and Advil just weren’t keeping up. Soon after she developed new symptoms: red bloodshot eyes, congestion so bad she actually had 3-4 second intervals where she would stop breathing during her sleep and her lymph nodes continued to increase is size. Her lips were so red she looked as though she were wearing lipstick. Back to the doctor we went and as soon as our doctor saw her, she immediately said she wanted us to go for blood work right away. She told us that she was thinking of Kawasaki disease and if her blood work showed specific inflammatory markers, that we would be leaving tonight for a larger hospital (we live in a rural area). Our amazing doctor stayed late at her family practice to stay by the phone to get the immediate results of Claire’s blood test. We received a call a few hours later and were told to leave right away and a paediatrician would be waiting for us at the hospital. Claire was started in the IVIG treatment that same night along with the high doses of Aspirin. While in hospital, her ECG and echo showed no signs of any heart complications. Two days after the IVIG treatment, while still in hospital, Claire woke up with some unpleasant side effects of either the IVIG treatment or the Kawasaki disease itself. Doctors weren’t sure which, as both could cause stomach upset and bad headaches. They were quick to get the symptoms under control and finally the next day, I saw my true “Claire” for the first time in almost 2 weeks. My baby was back! We have another follow up echo to get done yet, but things are looking good and normal. We were one of the lucky ones, our doctor recognized the symptoms and acted quickly and for that, we will forever be grateful. I do my best to spread the word on Kawasaki disease to everyone I know now. I had not heard of this awful disease before but everyone should know its signs and symptoms. It can truly be lifesaving to know what to look for.



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