A BABY who was just eight months old has died from the coronavirus-linked Kawasaki disease, becoming the UK’s youngest known victim.
Little Alexander Parsons died on April 25 from the rare childhood illness which inflames blood vessels.
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It is believed the illness could be triggered by a reaction to the coronavirus.
Medics have renamed the deadly condition as PIMS-TS, in the battle against Covid-19.
The toddler had no underlying health conditions and was seen happily playing just two hours before he suffered a ruptured aneurysm.
His heartbroken mum Kathryn Rowlands, 29, told The Sunday Mirror: “I can’t believe I carried him for longer than he was alive. I will never be whole again.
“NEVER BE WHOLE AGAIN”
“And more parents will be in the same unimaginable position unless the Government starts to listen to the advice of scientists and stops gambling with people’s lives.
“The doctors and nurses who fought to save Alex were incredible – but if they’d known more about the Covid-Kawasaki link, they possibly could have done more.”
An early sign Alex was sick was a pinprick rash that had an appearance of sunburn and he also developed a high temperature and swollen lymph nodes.
Later he developed a severe sickness and his hands and the soles of his feet turned red.
The stay-at-home mum and her partner initially thought it was some sort of viral infection.
They called 111 and the person they spoke to thought it could be mumps but the couple became concerned when Alex started being sick.
He was then admitted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth on April 6 and medics diagnosed the Kawasaki disease the following day.
While the illness usually affects kids under the age of five, during the coronavirus pandemic Europe has seen more than 200 suspected cases in children up to 14.
When Alex’s condition worsened he was transferred to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children where he underwent a heart scan which found multiple coronary aneurysms, enlarged arteries and fluid.
He died the next night.
Kathryn said: “I was about to try to settle him down for bed but he was so upset.
“He cried in a way I hadn’t heard. I held him and sang to him, then his head went back. He was floppy in my arms.”
Staff battled for nearly an hour to revive him. He never regained consciousness.
Kathryn said: “Half the time they were trying to bring him back I stayed in a corner of the room as I didn’t want him to think I’d left him.
“Then I sat on a chair outside. I could see him on the bed and his vitals were showing on a machine. I just kept staring at it, hoping they’d change. Then the doctors came out and said an aneurysm had burst and there was nothing they could do. I went in and I lay down next to him.”
Due to the coronavirus restrictions, Alex’s dad Jon, 30, wasn’t allowed to be there as his son struggled for life.
He learnt of his son’s worsening condition in a phone call from Kath but because she was so upset a nurse had to tell him his son had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Devon and Cornwall Police blue-lighted Jon to Bristol but he arrived too late for the final moments.
The couple are now waiting on the results of a postmortem report and preparing for the funeral of their only child who Kathryn described as her “greatest achievement”.
A Just Giving page has been set up to help the family. More information can be found here.
What is Kawasaki disease and what are the signs?
The disease is also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome.
According to the NHS, the disease primarily affects children under five years of age.
The blood vessels become swollen which can lead to complications in the coronary arteries (the blood vessels which supply blood to the heart).
Kawasaki disease can cause aneurysms which can lead to a heart attack and heart disease.
These the signs to look out for are:
- swollen glands in the neck
- lips which appear to be dry and cracked
- red eyes
- red fingers and toes
- a high temperature that lasts for over 5 days
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