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Patient Stories – SJS 

The week before Thanksgiving our son Teddy had been home sick from school for 4 days. We had taken him to the doctor twice, and all that could be surmised was that he had some sort of virus that he was fighting—common for the time of year. On Thanksgiving Day Teddy woke up with lesions covering the inside of his mouth and the whites of his eyes were becoming red. Before hosting Thanksgiving dinner, we took him to urgent care and were told to have him rinse with a prescription mouth solution for canker sores.

The day after Thanksgiving was a Black Friday in more ways than one. When Teddy woke up, the whites of his eyes were almost entirely red and his face was significantly swollen. The lesions in his mouth were out of control and extremely painful for him. His temperature had peaked to 103 and he was so lethargic he could hardly walk. The doctor that day finally told us that Teddy needed to be admitted to the hospital.

At St. Mary's, he was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a life-threatening allergic reaction. The doctors and nurses on the pediatrics floor worked diligently to diagnose Teddy's illness and to comfort him as much as possible, as there is no treatment that cures SJS. Because it is such a rare disorder, the doctors and interns had to study it aggressively and take very cautious steps so as not to jeopardize Teddy's life. Dr. Michelle Kelly and Dr. Erin Shaughnessy, along with interns and nurses, did a remarkable job of diagnosing and treating our son's sudden illness, determining the cause of the illness (mycoplasma, the bacteria that causes walking pneumonia), and putting him on the path of recovery—just in time for his eighth birthday!

We commend Drs. Kelly and Shaughnessy and the entire staff of 3rd floor pediatrics for taking the best care of Teddy. Because of them, we have our healthy (and talkative) son back!

- Nicole
St. Mary's Hospital     700 South Park Street     Madison, WI 53715-0450     (608) 251-6100
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