Getting chicken pox is a rite of passage: at one point or another, everyone will get it. Although it is considered by many as essential, strengthens the body’s immune system in the process, chicken pox is an unsightly and uncomfortable condition—sometimes even deadly.
Mom Sarah Allen can attest to this, following her son Jasper’s hospitalisation after acquiring “the worst chicken pox ever seen.”
So severe was his case that he had been given antiviral medication, antibiotics morphine to help his body fight the virus. An IV drip had also been put on.
Photo credit: Mercury Press
According to a Mail Online story, Sarah had been initially refused an appointment at her local GP because a receptionist thought Jasper’s condition wasn’t severe enough for a consultation.
The receptionist allegedly told her that “every mother thinks their child has bad chickenpox.”
When the boy’s temperature didn’t go down, she took him again to the same GP, and he was prescribed antibiotics and oral medication for the infection.
“Several hours later his condition hadn’t improved so Mrs. Allen took him to A&E at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon,” the same report said. “There, he was quickly admitted onto the children’s ward and spent five days in hospital on an IV drip and antiviral medication, antibiotics and morphine.”
A nursery manager from St Neots, Cambridegshire, Sarah said the people at the hospital, when they were finally admitted, was shocked at how severe the condition was.
Photo credit: Mercury Press
“There was even talk about using the pictures for a medical journal,” the 26-year-old mother said. “One of the pediatric nurses with 40 years’ experience said she had never seen anything like it.”
Sarah recalled not being able to hold his son because he would scream every time they touched him.
“As we were sat in the waiting room waiting for a bed I could see this redness in his chest spreading all over him before my eyes,” she admitted. “It is worse when it’s your own child because all you want is to take the pain away for them, it broke my heart.”
Read more on how to deal with chicken pox on the next page
Looking back, Sarah said that she had been one of those mothers who wished for her children to have chicken pox so that they could be done with it already.
However, seeing Jasper with marks all over his body was heart-breaking. “But to see him get it like that and see how it took over his body was just heart-breaking.
“Nearly every child I’ve ever had in my care has had chickenpox at some point, but never like this,” Sarah added. “It was definitely not ‘just chickenpox’ and I want people to realize this.’”
Doctors are still unsure what exactly caused this severe an infection, but the boy has undergone heart scans to make sure that it didn’t have any lasting effects.
Now Sarah is appealing to the government to make the chicken pox vaccination part of a child’s immunization schedule.
Chicken pox is a viral condition characterised by fatigue, fever, sore throat and infamously by rashes that are itchy and look like pimples or insect bites all over the body.
According to the NHS, chicken pox has no cure, but the virus usually clears up by itself without any treatment.
“If a child is in pain or has a high temperature (fever), a mild painkiller, such as paracetamol, can be given.”
However, parents should be careful when giving aspirin to children who have chicken pox or if they suspect a child has chicken pox.
“Children with chickenpox who take aspirin can develop a potentially fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome, which causes severe brain and liver damage,” NHS says. “Speak to the GP or pharmacist if you are not sure which medicines to give your child.”
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