When Kendra was 15 months old she got sick with a high fever. The lymph nodes in her neck were swollen so severely that she could not turn her head from side to side. Her symptoms persisted and on the 5th day she woke up with bright red swollen, cracked, and bleeding lips. Her symptoms also included a "Strawberry" tongue and swollen hands and feet. After a plethora of tests over a 24 hour period to rule out all other possibilities, Kendra was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease. She began an IV treatment of adult antibodies (IVIG) for 48 hours. Kawasaki Disease is a serious illness characterized by inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body that primarily affects young children and infants. It is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children.
Without treatment, about 25% of children develop heart disease involving the coronary arteries. Luckily Kendra was treated early and had no significant damage to her heart. However, she continues to see a specialist regularly to keep a close watch over her heart.