MRSA - Kaleb's Story
On May 6, 2012 our son Kaleb was born at 24 weeks weighing just 1 lb 12oz. After he was born he was transported to the NICU where he spent the next 110 days. We knew that it was going to be a long bumpy road and we weren’t too sure what issues to expect, but I can tell you that MRSA was not one of them! For those who may not know MRSA is a bacteria that can cause infections in different parts of the body and although most cases are not serious some can be life threatening and it is very difficult to treat. Everyday my husband Mike and I went to visit Kaleb and it had become a routine, from the parking to the elevator ride, then washing our hands for 3 minutes, and then right into see Kaleb, first bed on the right. This time we went in and he was not there which of course sent us into a panic. The nurses informed us that he had been moved into isolation because he tested positive for MRSA. We have no idea how he got MRSA, all we knew was that Kaleb and another baby were placed into isolation for testing positive. The nurses told us that sometimes it does happen and it could have been a number of things that attributed. At the time they had let us know that he was only colonizing it and that it was not making him as sick as it could at the moment, but he needed to be in isolation so that that other babies were protected. What this meant for us was that when we visited him we had special gowns we needed to wear, we had to wear gloves, and there was extra washing of our hands every time we left the isolation room. This was very difficult for us because putting our hands in Kaleb’s isolette was the only way we were able to connect with him and it was hard to feel him through the gloves we needed to wear. At this time, Kaleb was already 3 weeks old and we had yet to be able to hold him and MRSA prolonged that as well. A few times a day the nurses would swab all the key areas where the MRSA grows with medication and hope that the tests would finally come back negative. He was tested every week and in order to get out of isolation and be in the clear Kaleb needed to have 2 weeks worth of negative test results in a row. After 3 weeks in isolation he finally had a negative result and although we still needed to wait for a second week worth of negative test results, the current results meant that we were finally allowed to hold him! We had been waiting for this day for weeks and it was such a happy yet emotional moment! Because he was still in isolation we still needed to wear the special gown and the gloves, but being able to finally hold our baby for the first time was still an amazing feeling! The following week, Kaleb’s test results came back negative and he was finally, after 4 weeks, able to leave isolation. We were told that because he was colonizing it now, he would always colonize it and that would be something that we would need to keep an eye on throughout his stay in the NICU as well as the rest of his life. After his issue with MRSA, Kaleb spent another 2 ½ months in the NICU without any further issues or positive test results for MRSA! Today, Kaleb is your typical 2 year old little boy with scraped knees and a dirty face, running and playing just like any other child his age would be and although he went through many difficulties throughout his life thus far, we are just happy that he is happy and healthy!
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