A father says his daughter could be dead if he hadn’t been intuitive and recognized the signs of a potentially life-threatening illness.
Little Harriet was laid down for a nap and appeared perfectly well, but was soon in hospital having trouble breathing.
Frighteningly, Harriet might not be alive today if her father hadn’t trusted his gut feeling.
He said Harriet appeared “perfectly normal” as he laid her down for a nap, without a fever or any illness.
“I was in my bedroom when I heard a strange bark, ran straight into her room and unzipped her pajamas as fast as I could,” he said.
The father had seen videos on the Tiny Hearts Instagram page explaining conditions such as croup and shortness of breath.
The signs of croup to look out for are:
- Strong, barking cough
- Hoarse voice
- Squeaky sound when inhaling (stridor)
- Signs your child is having trouble breathing (see below)
The characters Breathing difficulties are:
- Your child has stridor (noisy breathing) when at rest.
- Your child seems to be having trouble breathing
- Your child becomes unusually sleepy and lethargic
- Your child is unusually excited
- Your child seems very unwell and pale
- Your child’s lips are blue
- Your child’s breastbone, or the space between your ribs, sucks in when you breathe
The father said: “I immediately called an ambulance because I knew it was not normal. A paramedic was here within 10 minutes and told me it was croup.”
Croup is an upper respiratory infection that affects children. This narrows the airways and makes it difficult to breathe.
Complications such as pneumonia can occur with croup, and in very rare cases, children die. However, most children can be treated at home and recover within two days.
The paramedic who got to Harriet’s home administered medication and said there was no need to take her to the hospital.
But as parents should always do, the father trusted his instincts and pushed for Harriet to be taken to the hospital.
He said: “I thought I’d follow my heart and want her in the ambulance.
“We were admitted to the ER, within an hour she had another seizure, so they asked us to stay the night, then we were transferred to the ward the next morning.”
On the way, Harriet was given medication, such as steroids, throughout the day.
However, the doctors wanted to send her home, but the father refused and asked to stay another night.
“I’m SO glad I did it,” he said.
“Just 30 minutes after they were about to send me home, Harriet’s condition began to deteriorate. She couldn’t breathe.
“At that point I was (embarrassingly) yelling through the doors of my room that my child was blue.
“She couldn’t breathe at all. An (amazing) team of 15 paramedics ran through the door and tried to treat my girls by dosing her with nasal sprays and steroids. Nothing worked.
“I lost all control of my body and they lifted us both onto a bed, took us straight to the operating room and had to put Harriet in an induced coma for three days. Her airway was completely closed within moments.”
The father does not reveal what happened next, but it is believed that Harriet made a full recovery.
He said he “really doesn’t know what would have happened” if he hadn’t learned from videos posted on Tiny Hearts by other parents showing shortness of breath in children.
Tiny Hearts wrote on Instagram: “You [Harriet’s] Her parents had kept her in the right place at the right time.
“Parent gut feeling and intuition is a real thing. YOU know your child best.
“Gain the confidence to stand up for your child. Just like those parents did.”