Missouri family warns about RSV and taking health precautions after daughter is intubated

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 10:14 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - For weeks now, pediatric doctors have been scrambling to get ahold of RSV. It’s the respiratory virus many of us get on an annual basis, but it’s also one that has deeply impacted children this year. The disease is even bringing kids from rural parts of Missouri to the Metro for treatment.

“Lorelei was born three months pre-mature. She spent three months in the NICU here at Cardinal Glennon,” Cassandra Black said.

Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is a place the Black family knows all to well. Cassandra Black, Lorelei Black’s mother, said they’ve taken several trips to St. Louis because they live in Jackson, Missouri and Cardinal Glennon is one of the best options for treatment.

“Being a parent of a preemie, it’s not going out, it’s watching out for every germ, it’s a constant battle keeping her safe,” Black said.

About a month ago, the 16-month-old was diagnosed with COVID then Rhino virus. She recovered, but was diagnosed with RSV last week.

“Wednesday night is when things really went down in a spiral. Her cough was worse, but in a matter of hours her breathing contractions were getting a lot worse, and I immediately took her to the ER,” Black said.

Black said doctors intubated her daughter and brought her to St. Louis from Cape Girardeau.

“It’s gut-wrenching. I feel hopeless, you know, seeing her like that. I can’t do anything. I wouldn’t wish this on any parent. That’s why I want parents to be aware,” Black added.

Doctors at Cardinal Glennon want you to be aware too.

“We’re all tired of masking, we’re all tired of the constant banging of the drum of what we need to do, but that doesn’t change the fact that the viruses are out there,” Dr. Marya Strand said.

Strand’s the Chief Medical Officer at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. She said they saw RSV numbers, this year, like never before. This year, there were three times as many infants, less than six months old, hospitalized with RSV. RSV hospitalizations in general, doubled.

“I’m happy to say that RSV has really been down-trending over the last couple of weeks,” Strand explained.

However, despite numbers declining, both Strand and the Black family said being cautious is key.

“What could be a cold for you know, them, could be life-threatening for others,” Black said.

To help out the Black family during this time, click here.