To have been misdiagnosed before damage to my coronary arteries took place due to KD, infants like me who develop KD at an age younger than 1 are usually the most seriously ill and at greatest risk of long-term heart problems.
I was only seven months old. My condition was escalating at speed, and my parents were told that I had a common flu virus which could be cleared with antibiotics. My parents realized something was wrong when no recovery became evident. On our fourth visit to the pediatricians, it was then that a South African nurse happened to recognize the classic symptoms of KD having seen it in his home country. I was treated with immunoglobulin also called gamma globulin, a blood product containing antibodies, along with aspirin for two years.
If I remained undiagnosed I would have had heart disease in adult life and limitations to the things I do each day. The cause remains unknown. Researchers believe the disease may be an immune response to an acute infectious illness based in part on genetic susceptibilities. My aim is to continue to help promote awareness with my Mum and raise funds that will aid KD research.
Above: Kawasaki survivor Nadia taking part in KD research at Imperial College London, previously held at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she was diagnosed.
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