Monday, July 18, 2011

A Mother Posted Photos of Her Sick Son on Facebook and Got a Diagnosis that Saved His Life!

You hear a lot about how technology and social media are eroding our privacy and quality of life and let's not forget about cyberbullying, so it's time for another reminder: Facebook saves lives!
This past Mother's Day, 45-year-old writer Deborah Copaken Kogan updated her Facebook status and wrote, quote, "Nothing says Happy Mother's Day quite like a Sunday morning at the pediatrician's." Her four-year-old son Leo had woken up with a mysterious rash and a high fever, so she took him to the doctor. He got meds for strep throat, but his face kept swelling, and he looked worse the next day. Deborah kept posting about it, including photos of Leo's swollen face, and got ANOTHER diagnosis from a second doctor's visit scarlet fever. But Leo kept getting worse, she kept posting photos and comments about his puffy face, and eventually one of her Facebook friends actually picked up the phone and called her: She knew what Leo had, and he had to get to a hospital IMMEDIATELY. Her son had had the exact same symptoms, and ended up with something called Kawasaki disease: A rare auto-immune disorder that affects kids under the age of five, and attacks the coronary arteries surrounding the heart. And it can be fatal. Two of Deborah's pediatrician friends on Facebook posted the same diagnosis when they saw Leo's photos. Deborah rushed him to the hospital and he was diagnosed with the disorder. Another day, and it could have been too late. It affected both his heart and liver, and he was in and out of the hospital for weeks, but he's alive and recovering fine.


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