Two-year-old Baelyn Schwab looks healthy now, but just a few weeks ago, the health of a South Dakota infant suddenly changed.
“Her eyes looked a little yellow. We took her to the doctor and all of her liver enzymes labs are extremely high,” her mother Kelsea Schwab told CBS News.
After doctors learned that Bailyn’s liver had become inflamed, she was taken to M Hell’s Fairview Mason Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. She was eventually diagnosed with:– The cause is still unknown and he is still recovering in the hospital.
Bailyn is one of at least 180 children infected with severe hepatitis in 36 US states and territories since October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most recovered, but 15 people needed organ transplants and six died, the CDC told reporters on Friday.
Scientists are puzzled by the mysterious outbreak and wonder if it could be linked to an epidemic..
Before Bailyn’s diagnosis was confirmed, her family “had no idea what was going on” during her first three days in the hospital, Schwab said.
“Then suddenly it happened the next day and everything was gone. [into] chaos,” she said. “Her lab soared into the sky. Neurologically, she wasn’t 100% there. It was very difficult. You see your child deteriorating right before your eyes like overnight.”
When Baelyn’s liver began to fail, she climbed to the top of her transplant list and found a donor within days. After eight hours of her transplant, doctors found that 90% of the liver she removed was damaged tissue. Now Bailyn is getting stronger day by day.
“I’m actually very happy with the overall progress,” said Srinath Chinnakotla, her primary care physician.
Pediatric transplant surgeons have already performed another transplant on a younger child this year.
“We’re going to do a transplant for liver failure once a year or once every two years. But this year we’ve already done two transplants for acute liver failure. That’s definitely our concern,” he said.
It was a difficult year for the family until Bailyn fell ill. In December, Schwabs had to join when their youngest, 11-month-old Laramie, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Baelyn has done remarkably well in her recovery so far, but she will have to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of her life and be closely monitored for transplant rejection and drug-related risks.
“I think she has overcome all adversity when it comes to recovery and speed of recovery. She honestly inspires me,” her mother said.
Senior Medical Correspondent Dr. Tara Narula said the condition is extremely rare. most patientshas been restored.
“But parents should know that the median age is about two,” Narula told “CBS Morning” on Monday. “This is affecting young preschoolers.”
One of the main hypotheses is that it may be related to adenovirus type 41, a very common type of infection. Narula said scientists are investigating a possible link to COVID-19, which could “prime” a child’s immune system in a way that “creates a hyperimmune response.”
“The CDC will have to unravel this medical mystery,” she said.
that much Center for Disease Control and Prevention Parents tell us to watch out for symptoms such as:
- loss of appetite
- throw up
- dark urine
- bright colored stools
- joint pain
- Jaundice (a condition in which the skin turns yellow)