MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Carlee Dewey’s now 3-year-old daughter, Cassidy, spent eight days on a ventilator when she was 17-months-old after testing positive for respiratory syncytial virus.
Now, after another child also survived the virus, the Grand Strand mom wants others to know the warning signs.
“I picked her up from daycare and she had never really been sick before and she just had some congestion going on,” Dewey said. “So, I took her to the pediatrician and long story short, her oxygen levels were short. She was clearly struggling with some sort of respiratory virus, but at that point we weren’t sure.”
Doctors gave Cassidy a breathing treatment and some steroids before sending her home. She hadn’t improved at her follow-up appointment the next day, and was admitted to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. She was then airlifted to MUSC in Charleston, where she was for more than a week.
“Obviously, she is at the age where she could talk a little bit,” she said. “Once she was sedated and intubated, it was like she was asleep for eight days. Which is super sad and super scary. It was devastating.”
Dewey said it was during Cassidy’s battle with RSV they learned she has asthma, something she now sees a pulmonologist to treat.
Earlier this month, Dewey’s youngest daughter, Izzy, tested positive for RSV. The pediatrician said to monitor Izzy, but when she didn’t feel better after a couple of days, she was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Dewey said Izzy was in the hospital on oxygen for two nights, but did not need to be intubated.
Now, Dewey wants parents to know the warning signs of the virus.
“If they are not eating like they should, they are coughing and they are having difficulty breathing, it’s a good time to get them seen or take them to the hospital,” she said.
Health leaders across the nation, as well as at Tidelands Health and Grand Strand Medical Center, are reporting an increase in cases.
Typically, RSV season coincides with cold and flu season, but doctors are treating a higher-than-normal number of patients this summer.
Click here to learn more about RSV symptoms.