INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Her child had all the signs of a viral infection. The doctors sent the family home from the emergency room three times, but a local mother wouldn’t stop until she found out what was wrong.
Eventually, she found out her son had Kawasaki disease.
Jamie Jones, 7, once enjoyed football and even won several medals for wrestling. These are activities he can no longer participate in after a life-changing diagnosis.
“And then he had a fever and the fever kept going for days and then I’d take him to the ER and the ER would send him home and say it’s just a viral infection,” mother Jessica Jones said.
Jamie recalled just how severely the illness attacked his body more than a year ago.
“If I moved it hurt like crazy. I couldn’t even move. I wouldn’t eat, I wouldn’t drink because it would hurt too much. It was crazy,” Jamie said.
On the fourth trip to the emergency room doctors discovered Jamie had Kawasaki disease. The rare disease typically strikes in children and the cause is unknown. It’s described as inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body causing blood shot eyes, swollen lymph node in the neck, strawberry tongue and red cracked lips. Although Jamie is healed from the actual disease, the impact remains.
“Because of the inflammation that was being caused by the Kawasaki it actually damaged the heart and it caused three giant aneurysms in the heart as well as an aneurysm in his celiac artery,” Jessica said.
Those aneurysms will be with Jamie the rest of his life. He’s wearing a heart monitor after recently dealing with chest pain. But he’s found hope in a new hobby, swimming.
“It’s like the only thing that’s good for my heart and I want to make my heart better so I don’t have to go with all this medicine and everything,” Jamie said.
Jessica hopes this message can help save other young hearts.
“If you have that instinct that something’s just not right despite a medical professional telling you otherwise I definitely think you should keep trying and don’t give up.”
Jan. 26 is Kawasaki awareness day. The family has a Facebook page set up to help spread awareness.