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Newborn survive 10 day battle with RSV

Newborn survive 10 day battle with RSV

CLIO, Mich. (WNEM) – What was supposed to be a time filled with bonding, sleepless nights, dirty diapers and feedings quickly became a battle to save the life of Meghan Cherry and Brent Beckman’s newborn son, Jack.

“You could tell that every single breath was hard. He would have to suck in all of his muscles to be able to get a breath in,” says Cherry.

Jack spent 10 days in the hospital with Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, less than a week after his birth.

“The hardest part for me, I think, was that I couldn’t breastfeed, and I couldn’t do a lot of the things that you normally do when you first have a baby,” says Cherry.

RSV can start out similar to a cold with symptoms like a fever and a cough; but it can progress and lead to more serious and deadly symptoms like shortness of breath. Now, babies across the country are filling up pediatric beds faster than hospitals can handle, something Cherry and Beckman experienced firsthand.

“At one point they told us that he needed to go to a pediatric ICU, but that there weren’t any available in Michigan at all, and the nearest one would be in Fort Wayne, Indiana,” says Cherry.

Fortunately, hospital staff were able to make arrangements to keep baby Jack in Michigan.

Cherry says, “There were just so many more kids than they normally had. They were opening up rooms and places they don’t normally put kids and they had staff that don’t normally take care of kids his age helping, and people are just being really flexible. And trying to do the best they could.”

Now Jack is back home with his parents and siblings, enjoying a lot of snuggle and nap times. Cherry has one piece of advice for parents about RSV: if your kid is sick, keep them home from school.

She says, “[It] might just be a cold for an older kid, but that older kid might give it to someone sitting next to them who has a baby at home. And it won’t be just a cold for the baby.”

According to the CDC, there is no vaccine to prevent RSV infection, but scientists are currently working to develop one.


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