A MOTHER has asked parents to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of Kawasaki disease, after her daughter was diagnosed with it.

Rachael Ward, of Ryde, said she followed her "mother's intuition" to whisk daughter Paige, four, into hospital when she went downhill quickly following a misdiagnosis of possible measles and tonsillitis.

Paige was found to have Kawasaki disease, which can lead to heart complications and can prove fatal if not diagnosed.

Paige became ill with a temperature on July 2, after an enjoyable birthday the day before.

She was at Blackgang Chine when she complained of tummy ache, developed red eyes, a temperature and, by the evening, a rash.

Rachael said: "The next morning she still had all that and a huge gland up on her neck, which I instantly knew wasn’t right, so I took her to the doctors.

"They checked her over and told us it was a viral infection."

Over the next couple of days, Paige was up and down, but when she got worse, Rachael rang 111 and was advised to take Paige back to the doctors.

By this time she was very poorly and Rachael had to carry her in.

Her symptoms had escalated quickly to include bumpy hands, as if she had fallen in stinging nettles, blood-shot eyes, dark black circles under her eyes, red peeling lips, strawberry tongue, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, the gland in her neck, and a widespread rash.

The doctor thought it was measles accompanied with tonsillitis, so started her on antibiotics.

Rachael was relieved there was a diagnosis and presumed the tablets would soon see Paige pick up.

But the next evening, she felt something wasn't right.

She said: "Call it mother's intuition. I rang 111 and they said someone would call me back.

"Some time passed and I just didn’t feel right about waiting for a call. I could see Paige was going downhill so I drove to hospital.

"We were seen very quickly by a nurse practitioner who was brilliant and got the ball rolling."

Paige was eventually diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, when the immune system attacks the body, causing blood vessels to inflame.

It can cause heart problems if the arteries to the heart inflame.

Paige endured six hours of intravenous immunoglobulin and received an echo on her heart, which showed no damage.

After four days she was allowed to go home, and continue her treatment there.

Rachael said: "Paige became aggressive, emotional, and physically so demanding I found it hard to cope.

"A few days after we came out of hospital, her hands and feet peeled, as part of the disease, which was hard to explain to her.

"As the weeks have gone on she’s got better and I’m finally seeing my happy, sweet and caring daughter again.

"She is now making a good recovery.

"This disease is very unknown. People have never heard of it, which scares the life out of me considering how fatal it can be to a child’s heart if gone undiagnosed.

"There are lots of long-term side effects which I’m hoping Paige won’t have, but only time will tell.

"Paige was diagnosed on day six. It is vital that the earlier the diagnosis, the less risk of further heart complications.

"I cannot fault the care we received at St Mary’s Hospital, they were brilliant."

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