The terrified mum of a six-month-old baby is warning people not to kiss young children after her son was rushed to hospital with potentially life-threatening herpes.
Stephanie Shady feared for baby Lincoln’s life after he fell ill with the herpes simplex virus, which causes painful sores and can be fatal to babies, after being kissed by someone with a cold sore .
The stay-at-home mum and her butcher husband Justin, 36, first noticed blistering on Lincoln’s face on February 17 but within hours, one side of the tot’s face was covered in painful red sores.
Lincoln, who already suffers with skin condition dermatitis, was crying in pain, so the couple took him to a hospital near their home in Central Pennsylvania, in the USA.
Medics told mum-of-five Stephanie the tot must have contracted the near-fatal virus after being kissed by someone with a cold sore and she is now speaking out to raise awareness.
The 32-year-old said: “We don’t know who, but someone kissed Lincoln and he got the herpes virus.
“He had dermatitis too, but I started to notice it spreading and I could tell he was in a lot of pain so I took him to the ER.
“It looked like an infection but all the blisters were popping and there was pus.
“It just looked so bad and we had no idea what it was. It took over half of his face.
“I thought it was just a regular infection at first but when I found out he’d tested positive for herpes, I couldn’t believe it had started from a kiss.
“I was very shocked when doctors told me it could have been fatal.
“I just couldn’t figure out who had kissed him and when.
“No one can believe that this can happen just from a kiss, but it did.”
When he arrived at the hospital, Lincoln was rushed to the emergency department, given antibacterial cream and discharged the same day.
He spent the next seven days at home and after visiting his local GP every two days, he was eventually diagnosed with the Herpes Simplex Virus by a dermatologist.
After the diagnosis, the youngster was pumped with antiviral medication for 10 days and antibiotics and the sores have just started to heal one month later.
The herpes virus is especially dangerous for babies under six months old because their immune systems are still developing and one third of babies who develop the virus don’t survive.
Lincoln is being treated by an ear nose and throat specialist to make sure his hearing hasn’t been damaged permanently by the virus.
Stephanie, also mum to Lincoln’s twin, Lyric, five-year-old twins, John and Carter and Thomas, six, still does not know who passed on the virus to her son.
She added: “Be very careful who kisses your children.
“Try to avoid letting people touch or kiss them. People should ask if they can touch your child and respect the parent’s decision.
“I was always that person who said it wouldn’t happen, but it ended up happening and Lincoln ended up in pain.
“Doctor didn’t think it was any of us in the house because we don’t have active coldsores, but we could have given it to him without knowing.
“Most people respect when we ask them not to touch our children but sometimes, we have to be mean about it.”