Douglass mom shares son’s RSV story, urges parents to act quickly

Mother sharing son’s RSV story while urging other parents to act quickly. (Source: KWCH)
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - An earlier-than-usual rise in RSV cases this year includes more cases of children being hospitalized. Thursday, 12 News spoke with a Douglass mother who has a message to share with fellow parents after dealing with virus’s harsh realities for days.

Ami Johnson, a mother of two, said she jumped into action when her son, Jayden, showed obvious signs that he wasn’t well. He had a stuffy nose and struggled to breathe.

“That wasn’t normal for him because when you breathe, your ribs don’t just… I mean, you could see his whole rib cage. That’s how bad it was,” Johnson said.

She said the symptoms started quickly and Jayden’s condition started to deteriorate.

“He was making a wheezing noise like he couldn’t breathe, and I was telling my husband, I was like, ‘I think I need to take him in because it just doesn’t look right,’” Johnson said.

Jayden tested positive for RSV. Like many children, Jayden was in the hospital for several days, having to do undergo breathing treatments.

In looking at the early surge in RSV cases this year, Wesley Medical Center Pediatrician Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann offered insight into the increased infections, not just RSV.

She said that as COVID restrictions dropped, all respiratory viruses and infections increased again.

“Once the risk mitigation measures went away and (children) started getting sick again as they were back in preschool, daycares, schools, etc. Now, I think we’re starting to see that seasonality shift back toward winter, we just kind of hit in the fall this year,” Dr. Kuhlmann said.

While Dr. Kuhlmann said there is an RSV vaccine being tested, the best step that parents can take for now is simply to monitor their children.

“As of right now, there is no magic cure for [RSV], there’s no magic medicine,” she said.

Johnson said she hopes other parents will take their children’s symptoms as seriously as she did when she noticed her son wasn’t well.