If there’s one piece of advice every parent should follow, it’s this: Trust your gut.
If you suspect something is wrong with your child health-wise, you can (and should) take them to a doctor and get a professional opinion.
They are the experts, after all — but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. You know your child(ren) better than anyone else on the planet, so if things aren’t getting better and your worries are being dismissed, taking matters into your own hands is a must.
That was the case for Danielle McNair of LaGrange, Georgia, when her son Mason came down with a mysterious rash last month. After a round of antibiotics failed to cure the 5-year-old, and Danielle’s worries were brushed aside by doctors, she decided to do a bit of research on her own — and in doing so, probably saved Mason’s life.
It’s a scary story that will send chills down any parent’s spine, but it comes with an important lesson…
It all started with a teeny, tiny tick.
Mason was visiting his grandparents one day in May when they noticed a tick hiding in his belly button. Although they removed it immediately, the boy’s trouble had already started.
Before long, Danielle noticed something was very wrong with her son.
“[The bite] soon got infected and very red,” Danielle wrote in a now-viral Facebook post. She whisked him off to the doctor so he could be treated for the bite as well as impetigo, a skin infection that tends to appear as red sores on a patient’s face.
The doctor prescribed Mason antibiotics, but his symptoms only got worse over the course of his treatment.
“Mason started to get other symptoms including fatigue, diarrhea, fever, headache, and pain in his abdomen,” Danielle wrote. “On the last day of his meds” — about 10 to 14 days after the tick bite — “he suddenly got a rash from head to toe.”
“At first the rash looked like it was just heat rash from being outside all weekend and how miserably hot it was,” Danielle explained. “It started off small but within 8-10 hours it was already getting worse. The next morning when he woke up it had gotten progressively worse.”
Danielle rushed her son back to the doctor, who told them it was probably just a delayed reaction to the antibiotic. They were sent home and told not to worry.
That's when Danielle took matters into her own hands.
“I was NOT satisfied with that answer and neither was my sister, who told me they needed to do a tick panel on him,” Danielle wrote. “I called back after doing my own research on tick-borne diseases and showed them what I had found on Rocky Mountain spotted fever.”
After she insisted the doctors consider her diagnosis, they relented and eventually confirmed that Mason had contracted the rare (and potentially fatal) bacterial disease. Since completing a round of a different antibiotic to treat RMSF, he’s finally back to perfect health.
Danielle shared information about the consequences of untreated RMSF in the hopes of warning other parents about the rare illness.
“It can be treated with an antibiotic and there can be a full recovery with no long-term damages if caught in a timely manner! BUT IT HAS TO BE TREATED WITH THE CORRECT ANTIBIOTIC! Which is why the first antibiotic did not work!” she wrote.
Danielle's Facebook post has racked up dozens of responses and reactions.
Many relieved well-wishers have been flooding its comments section with good vibes.
A few people have chimed in with their own terrifying RMSF experiences.
Apparently, misdiagnoses are very common when dealing with the potentially deadly illness.
Thankfully, Danielle and Mason’s story is helping get the word out about RMSF and its consequences.
So far, Danielle’s post has been shared more than 600 times on Facebook.
The duo recently took their story to the small screen.
The 5-year-old and his mom did an interview with Inside Edition this week to discuss their dramatic ordeal and share their tale with an even bigger audience.
Good on Mason and his mom for turning a scary situation into an important learning experience for all of us!