On October 18, 2003, one day over my due date, I gave birth to my fourth child, first son, Donald III (Trip). He was 6 lbs. 14 oz. and 20 inches long. Healthy pregnancy, healthy baby.

Last March, Trip was five months old. He had a little cold, which is pretty normal in our house. We didn't think much about it until a couple of nights later. He would drink a bottle of formula, start choking, and gasp for air. He couldn't keep the formula down. In the evening he would begin to wheeze. I thought "I'll ask my sister what she thinks." since she has 6 children four of them are quadruplets. I held the phone to Trip so she could hear his wheezes. She said, "I would call the doctor right now." I did as she advised.

The doctor asked a lot of questions, told me what to watch for, and told me to have him sleep in his car seat for the night. I was to meet him at 8am at his office. Once the doctor had checked him over and I heard him say RSV, which made me nervous since I knew my sister's quadruplets had severe episodes of this condition. I knew it wasn't good. The doctor said he should be fine since he was five months old and healthy.

They gave him a nebulizer treatment in the office, ordered a nebulizer to be delivered to my home, and gave me five prescriptions.....three medications to be administered with the nebulizer, one oral steroid to help his lungs, and an antibiotic for his ear infections.

I was told to give treatments with the nebulizer every 3-4 hours until I saw symptoms disappearing. Everything went well, but even after two weeks of treatments, you could still hear a little "tic" in his breathing. By the time of the next doctor visit, he seemed fine. The doctor agreed but said to start nebulizer treatments at the first sign of another cold, or even if someone else in the house seemed to be getting one.

It was the following August when he was ten months old that he came down with another cold. We didn't get him on the Pulmocort soon enough evidently. I left the house for about one hour, came back and asked my husband if he had given him a treatment. He said, "Yes, right after you left." The wheezing was louder and I knew that wasn't good. I put in a call to my pediatrician and got the doctor 'on call'. She told me to give him albuterol once an hour for the next 2 hours and, if that didn't work, to take him to the Emergency Room, which is what we had to do.

At the Emergency Room they gave him two treatments with a nebulizer and an oral steroid, one with Advere. We went home that night and I was very nervous because I was still able to hear him wheezing. It took several more treatments throughout the night before it stopped.

After two weeks we took him to the pediatrician for a follow-up visit and checkup. The doctor has put him on a Pulmocort treatments twice a day for maintenance.

Trip hasn't been formally diagnosed with asthma as of yet, but I've been told that he most likely does have it. My pediatrician is doing a study to see if the babies who wheeze with RSV eventually have asthma. Trip is on his "watch list".

Most of the people I talk to about RSV don't know what it is and they don't understand it's severity. People were saying that he must have a little cold or "my daughter has the same thing". They don't realize the danger RSV presents to a baby. I was very lucky that my son was a full term baby, five months old, and never hospitalized with RSV. I couldn't imagine what people go through with premature newborn babies with RSV.

Trip is fifteen months old now and we still get nervous when he has a cold and we give him nebulizer treatments on a regular basis.

Jessica W. of Northeastern Pennsylvania

P.O. Box 306
(631) 859-1110
East Islip, NY 11730