A mother is using her family’s tragedy to warn other parents after her newborn son passed away from an undetected virus days after being released from the hospital.
Denise Brajkovic, an Australian-based mother, had brought her baby boy, Julian, home from the hospital two days before he started showing serious symptoms. It turns out the infant had an enterovirus called Echovirus 9, which develops while the baby is still in the womb. Echovirus 9 affects the intestinal tracts, is highly contagious, and mainly affects children.
The mother now believes she caught the virus at a mall a week before giving birth. The mom-to-be had experienced a variety of flu-like symptoms, including body aches and severe chills. However, she believed it was all part of the final stages of pregnancy. Denise had no idea her seemingly insignificant symptoms were a sign of something seriously wrong with her baby. She even went to the hospital to get checked out, but doctors told her she was fine.
"The baby was fine. I was discharged and told to rest and take Panadol to control any fever,” Denise later explained, The Sun reports. The mom-to-be ended up having a complication-free delivery two days later, and while baby Julian seemed perfectly healthy at first, things soon started to take a turn for the worse.
"[His] symptoms were masked under typical newborn behaviours,” she explained. "He was a bit grizzly and didn't really want to feed as much. I asked the nurses and doctors if this was ok, and they assured me it was normal.” However, the new mom could tell something wasn’t right.
She added, "Deep down inside I didn't have a good feeling. He was a bit jaundiced they said, but his jaundice count was low."
Nevertheless, doctors discharged baby Julian from the hospital when he was four days old, despite his worsening symptoms. While home, the infant eventually became so lifeless he refused to feed. That’s when Denise rushed him back to the hospital, only to get the devastating diagnosis. Doctors not only confirmed the little one had Echovirus 9, but the condition had now progressed into liver failure and serious internal bleeding.
Although they exhausted all options, there was not much the doctors could do for baby Julian. Denise and her partner eventually made the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support. "The Doctor came in to advise us that they had tried everything and that the brain scan had shown he had severe bleeding and that he was brain dead,” she explained.
In the aftermath, Denise is hoping to use her family’s tragic story to raise awareness of this dangerous virus. Prior to the experience, she says she’d never even heard of Echovirus 9. "Pregnant woman get told to not eat shellfish, soft cheese, drink alcohol, getting the whooping cough vaccine,” she explained."Not at any point do they tell you 'hey, if you present with these type of flu-like symptoms you could be infected with Enterovirus and it kills your baby'. They don't test for it,”
Denise continued, "I contracted [the virus] from a shopping centre ... Wash your hands more often. " She added, "We need you. Baby Julian Brajkovic and all the other babies that died from this evil virus need you."