A 20-month-old Boston boy is slowly improving after being hospitalized with meningococcal disease, according to his mother.
Kimberly Cook says her son, Lucas, one of two local children recently diagnosed with the illness, is in stable condition and is gradually becoming himself again after being in a medically induced coma last week.
“He’s getting there, and he’s getting his little feisty attitude back,” Cook said in a video posted Wednesday to a GoFundMe page set up for the family.
Meningococcal disease is brought on by a bacterial infection and spreads through saliva, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, an altered mental state, and sensitivity to light, officials say.
The commission, which announced the two detected cases on Oct. 23, said the disease can take on varying forms, “including infection of the blood and infection of the brain and spinal cord, known as meningitis.”
Approximately 10 to 15 cases are reported in Massachusetts each year.
In the video published Wednesday, Cook said her son remains on sleep medication but is no longer on oxygen support and is now breathing on his own.
Lucas could be seen sitting up and playing with toys in a separate video.
“He is stable and he is doing good,” she said in another video posted on Saturday. “All the doctors and nurses say that he is a fighter and he is fighting.”
— Mike LaCrosse (@MikeLaCrosseWBZ) October 24, 2019
The two children diagnosed with the disease both attended Horizons for Homeless Children daycare centers, with one case reported at a Dorchester facility, while the other was in Jamaica Plain.
Last week, the health commission said it was unclear if the two cases are connected, but all people who were known to have been in contact with both children received antibiotics as a precautionary measure.
Vaccines are available to prevent common forms of meningococcal disease, officials said.
As of Thursday afternoon, over $2,600 was raised for Cook and her family through a GoFundMe campaign.
Cook, who also has two older sons, said that while health insurance will cover her son’s medical costs, the fundraiser will help the family manage other related expenses.
“We have no idea what the future is going to look like for Lucas,” the page says.
In the video posted Wednesday, Cook said Lucas may remain at the hospital for another week, or perhaps longer, depending on whether any signs of complications from the disease begin to show.
“We still have a very long road ahead of us,” she said. “They’re talking it’s probably going to be close to a week before they get him off all the medicines, the sleep aids anyway.”
Cook, expressing gratitude for all the support her family has received, also said she wants to raise awareness about the disease for other parents.
“I just want to make sure no one else has to go through what I have gone through the last two weeks … It’s been ups and it’s been downs,” she said in the video uploaded on Saturday.
“I don’t want to see any other parent go through this because they didn’t know the signs,” she added.