CHARLOTTE, N.C. – You may think it’s just minor cold, but it could be much worse and actually send your child to the hospital.
After spending more than a week at Levine Children’s Hospital, a Charlotte father is warning parents to pay close attention to their children’s behavior and health or it could cost them their life.
“My kids came home on Saturday and they really didn’t even want to wake up and play around and do the normal stuff that they do, so I took them to the emergency room and found out they were diagnosed with RSV,” said Reggie Billups.
Billups thought his children, 2-year-old Samantha and 1-year-old Tarik probably had a basic cold. He took them to CMC University where both children were admitted and diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). They were transferred to a hospital in Concord, but things only got worse.
“My daughter got sicker on her first day at Concord and we got airlifted from Concord to Levine,” Billups said. “I never seen nothing like this before so I was very nervous.”
RSV is a common respiratory virus that causes cold like symptoms but it can be very serious for young children and older adults. Nearly 58,000 children under age five are hospitalized with RSV virus every year.
“It really likes to get into the lower parts of the lungs so it can cause difficulty breathing. In younger kids you can see wheezing.”
Parents are encouraged to look out for coughing, congestion, runny nose, sore throat and fever.
Unfortunately, Billups children were hit hard.
“After she got better my son got worse and he was under ICU and in a coma for three to four days.”
After 10 days in the hospital both Tarik and Samantha got better and their parents, who made the right call, were able to take them home.
RSV is already hitting hard in the Charlotte area. A spokesperson with Novant Health tells FOX 46 that nearly every pediatric clinic in the city has seen cases already this year.
The kids’ parents were unable to work during the time their children were in the hospital. if you would like to help the family with medical costs you can donate to their Facebook fundraiser here.