Karl Stefanovic has shared more details on his daughter Harper’s ongoing health battle, after she was hospitalised again last Thursday.
The incident occurred almost a year after her last health scare, when she was rushed to hospital due to breathing difficulties, and was later on diagnosed with a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
“There’s something going around in daycare and she picked up something else,” Stefanovic said.
“She had to go to hospital on Thursday night, it was something else entirely, but it’s all similar and it just freaks you out as a parent.”
The Today Show host has shared a warning for all parents and opened up on the lingering effects of RSV.
“Almost a year ago, my daughter Harper scared the living daylights out of us. Struggling to breathe, we rushed her to GP. Then to hospital. There, we discovered the scary combination of letters we never heard of before, RSV. It’s a respiratory infection,” he said on the Today Show.
“She was in a lot of pain. Luckily, she’s able to make a full recovery. In the last 12 months more than 27,000 Aussie children have suffered from RSV. It happened to us and it could happen to any parent,” he added, while discussing RSV with Dr Matthew O’Meara, the chief paediatrician at Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Stefanovic revealed that the hardest part was watching his daughter’s health rapidly decline, from something that he thought was just “a normal cold and flu”.
“The one hard thing for us was how quickly Harper went downhill,” he recalled. “It felt like a normal cold and flu. She went downhill. The breathing became laboured and it got worse in a very quick amount of time.”
Both Stefanovic, and his wife Jasmine are committed to raising awareness on RSV.
Jasmine has shared her own recollection of the terrifying incident.
“The first time Karl and I heard the letters RSV was when Harper was in hospital struggling to breathe,” Jasmine said.
“Initially, Harper had the sniffles and a cough, and we assumed she just had a bit of a cold.
“But within hours, she deteriorated; it was alarming to see how hard she was working to breathe, with her little ribs sucking in and tummy pulling up into her chest.”
Although Harper is on the mend, the couple shared that she still has a “lingering wheeze”.
Dr Matthew O’Meara has shared that these viruses are common this time of year and the child will have the same symptoms as a common cold.
However, if it does get worse, these are the things to watch out for:
“It will make them cough or wheeze and find it hard to breathe or young babies will find it hard to feed,” he said.
“While we can prevent these with strategies like not sending your kids out when they’re sick, washing your hands, washing toys, most of it is managing that illness while your child has already got it.
“If they start to have breathing problems, pull their t-shirt up, look at their chest and see how quickly they’re breathing and how much effort they’re putting in.
“If you are concerned see your GP or call Health Direct and if it’s really bad you should go to hospital.”
Images: Nine News
This article first appeared on Over60.