As most of you know, our little SJ has had a rough ride the past few weeks. I wanted to publish this post to thank you all for your constant prayers, messages, calls, mails, gifts, meals, visits, concern, love and support during this time and to give you all a very positive update on our little girl.
Five weeks ago, SJ woke up with a swollen left eye. It wasn’t red or oozing any fluid – just very puffy and swollen on her eyelid. We kept her home from school (in case of any contagious infection) and took her to our GP for a check up. At first glance, our amazing GP requested we weigh her (which showed she was 1,5kgs heavier than her normal weight), a urine sample (which showed high levels of protein) and a blood sample (which showed low levels of protein). After receiving the results and being sent to our paediatrician, little SJ was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome.
As the above diagnosis defines: Nephrotic Syndrome is a kidney disorder which is a loss of protein through the kidneys which leads to low levels of protein in the blood, which causes water to be drawn into the soft tissues and therefore causing the swelling. Nephrotic Syndrome is contracted in two different ways: the first by a major disease (malaria, Lupus, Diabetes, HIV or Hepatitis) which SJ has not had, or by a small infection (like strep throat) which is more probable but not confirmed.
SJ was admitted into hospital that Friday and for the next five days, she was on an IV drip of Albumin and steroids to reduce the swelling and slowly correct the kidneys into absorbing the protein into her blood and not excreting it as waste in the urine. The following Tuesday, we were discharged and SJ was allowed to come home and continue being treated with the steroids at home. We had to remove her from school and any big crowds/areas as she was losing antibodies with the protein and therefore leaving her immune system very low.
Unfortunately, her little body managed to catch salmonella in her first week home and she spent five days not eating, with intense stomach cramps and horrible diarrhea and this past week she has had a bad bout of flu. Throughout these past four weeks at home, SJ has made us very proud parents. She has taken each day as it comes – some days feeling horrible and lethargic and other days, bouncing off the walls (a side effect of the steroids) but she has remained calm and patient, taking her medication every morning without a complaint and being happy and cheerful at home – never getting frustrated or upset that she couldn’t play with friends or be at a party. She has shown an understanding and maturity far beyond her little three years.
We had our final check up yesterday and we are so happy and delighted to report that SJ has made a 100% full recovery – we have weaned her off the steroids and all medication and her protein levels in the blood are back to normal and there are no signs of protein in her urine. Nephrotic Syndrome has a two year window period for a relapse but we continue to pray that SJ is free from all of this and that she will be happy and healthy in years to come.
Please keep her in your prayers.