Lifestyle

Mum's instinct leads to diagnosis

Benjamin Wells with the toy Kawasaki motorbike he was given during his hospital stay.
Benjamin Wells with the toy Kawasaki motorbike he was given during his hospital stay. Hannah Busch

HERVEY Bay mum Rachel Wells has urged parents to stand their ground after she fought to have her son diagnosed with a rare blood disease.

Eight-year-old Benjamin Wells was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease last week after he failed to recover from unexplained symptoms that lasted for almost two weeks.

Kawasaki disease is characterised by an inflammation of the blood vessels and can cause problems in the coronary arteries. Only 200 cases are diagnosed in Australia each year.

Mrs Wells originally thought it was measles but phoned the 13 Health hotline after his symptoms did not go away.

A paediatrician friend told her it may have been Kawasaki disease when Benjamin's hands and feet began to peel.

A nurse from the Hervey Bay Hospital was going to send them home after diagnosing Benjamin with a virus, but Mrs Wells insisted they check for Kawasaki disease.

“I thought, this is one time I'm going to stand my ground,” she said.

It wasn't until a doctor ran through a list of symptoms, Mrs Wells said, that they decided to take it seriously and admitted Benjamin to the hospital for two days.

He will have to have regular echocardiograms and blood pressure tests until doctors give him the all-clear in about two months.

He may have to have check ups every three to five years for the rest of his life as heart complications can appear at any time.

The keen swimmer will have to wait months before he can return to sport.

“They said he was a classic case of Kawasaki,” Mrs Wells said.

Benjamin's symptoms included cracked, swollen lips, red eyes, peeling skin and a rash.

“He was quite a novelty at the hospital.”

Several student doctors visited and interviewed Benjamin because the disease is so rare in Australia.

It was discovered in Japan by Dr Tomisaku Kawasaki less than 50 years ago.

It primarily affects children under the age of five but doctors told Mrs Wells they are discovering more cases in children aged 5-9.

Mrs Wells' other three sons didn't quite understand what was wrong with Benjamin.

“His little brother asked: ‘Did you swallow a motorbike?'”

Kawasaki Disease symptoms

  • Fever that lasts for several days
  • Rash and redness in the hands and feet.
  • Swollen, cracked lips. Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Red tongue
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Skin peeling on fingers and toes
  • Extreme irritability, especially in younger children.

Topics:  hervey bay


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Give the next gen a chance: Men's Shed founder

IDEA: Les McKenzie has a plan to help youths stay off benefits.

Les McKenzie has proposed an idea to help young people

Give a gift for dogs and cats in shelters

RAISING HOPE: Alice Thorn, with help from her rescue dog Penny, is leading a fundraiser to buy a Christmas present for every shelter animal on the Coast.

Student aims to buy every shelter pet a pressie

Grateful council says thanks for giving heaps

MIGHTY EFFORT: Cr Jess Glasgow, Noosa volunteers Robyn and Paul Jenkinson with Cr Joe Jurisevic at the special brunch.

Noosa volunteers day in the sun

Local Partners

Facebook solves stolen car mystery

THE social media site might get a bad wrap from time to time but this week it's proven to be a crime-solving wonder.

9 reasons to take the kids to Woodford Folk Festival

FAMILY FREINDLY: Woodford Folk Festival has something for everyone.

If you're thinking about leaving the kids at home, think again

130,000 music lovers get set for folk festival

Getting into the music at Woodford Folk Festival.

Pre-festival ticket sales up 15%

Market-goers are gobbling up the Christmas puddings

Puddling Lane Queensland Christmas puddings.

Christmas wouldn't complete without a traditional Christmas pudding.

9 reasons to take the kids to Woodford Folk Festival

FAMILY FREINDLY: Woodford Folk Festival has something for everyone.

If you're thinking about leaving the kids at home, think again

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

130,000 music lovers get set for folk festival

Getting into the music at Woodford Folk Festival.

Pre-festival ticket sales up 15%

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Star Wars spin off gets green light grom Lucas

Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen star in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Lucas said to have enjoyed the latest Star Wars spin-off

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

BREAKING: Residents win battle of Buderim

PLAN: Previous plans for the aged care facility that was proposed to have a main entrance on Burnett St and staff and emergency access onto Pine St which sparked community outrage.

Serenity saved as residents score win in legal appeal

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!