Melissa was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease (KD) in 1984
when she was eleven years old. It was nearly three weeks before her KD was diagnosed,
after a week each in two different hospitals, and being sent home with a
"fever of unknown origin" or FUO.
She was an extremely sick little girl.
It was a very difficult time of my life, as her mother,
but I will spare you the details.
The cause of Kawasaki Disease is unknown.
There are no tests for KD.
The patient is diagnosed after going through the stages
of the various symptoms.
Melissa was the sixth child in the state of Kentucky to ever be diagnosed,
and at age eleven, she was older than most KD patients.
Many cases were misdiagnosed.
After her diagnosis, Melissa returned to the hospital for further tests,
and it was concluded she had multiple coronary aneurysms as result of the KD.
Fast forward thirty years:
Most of the long-time followers of this blog
know that Melissa underwent her 2nd open heart double by-pass
surgery on October 30, 2013.
The first one was when she was a junior in college at age 20.
Fortunately, now there is a treatment for Kawasaki Disease
IF it is diagnosed within a few days of the onset of the illness.
I am observing KD Awareness Day on January 26 on this blog
to inform others of the importance of research and awareness of Kawasaki Disease.
Currently, approximately 4200 children in the USA are diagnosed each year.