What Happened with J.'s Son?
Mon., Jul. 6. 2015 8:15am EDT
J. Jackson here yet again. For those of you who missed it or only got part of the story, we went through quite a scare with my four-year-old son, T.J. last week.
T.J. developed a sore behind his ear last Sunday night, June 28, that had developed into an infected wound by morning. He also had a high fever. We took him to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, and they gave him antibiotics and sent us home, but the infection continued to grow. My wife, Lisa, took him back early Tuesday morning.
Teams of doctors from various departments examined him. They were baffled as to the cause of the infection, but very concerned about how fast it was progressing. The skin behind his ear had become necrotic and needed to be removed to keep it from spreading further. They performed surgery immediately to remove the necrotic skin and analyze it. They were grateful that my wife had been taking photos of the wound's progression on her iPhone.
The doctors gave him three different antibiotics to counteract all the various things they thought it could be. They also needed to see if the infection was just in the skin or had reached the bone and cartilage. Thankfully, it was just in the skin. At first they thought he'd need more surgery to remove more infection, and skin grafts and/or plastic surgery to close the wound, but now it looks like the wound can heal on its own.
The Infectious Diseases department had to grow a bacteria culture from the skin they took in order to identify it. On Friday, they finally identified it as MSSA, which is a type of staph infection (Staphylococcus aureus), and they discharged him with oral meds. He also has a dressing on his ear that needs changed every day. We have a follow-up appointment with the plastic surgeon this Wednesday, but it looks like he won't need more surgery.
We discovered later that the doctors were initially concerned that it might be necrotizing fasciitis ("the flesh-eating bacteria"), which has to be one of a parent's worst nightmares. I'm glad we didn't know that. In our darkest fears, we had considered it might be that, but we tried not to think about it. Praise God it wasn't!
We had been slated to visit my in-laws in Southwestern Kentucky on Wednesday — a 12-hour trip with all the kids. We had to postpone that, but we're grateful that God brought the problem to light before we left, especially with how quickly it was spreading. It was great to live so close to Childrens's Hospital, and to be able to get this treated in our hometown.
We are so thankful to God for sparing and healing her son. Praise the Lord!