'Oh my God,’ I exclaimed as I dried my one-year-old son, Jagger. ‘Look at this!’
My partner Val, 39, came over and gasped.
Jagger had a nasty red rash swiftly spreading over his whole body. It was even up his nose!
Terrified he had a life-threatening illness, we rushed him to hospital.
There he was swabbed for diseases including foot and mouth and meningococcal.
But we were stunned by the diagnosis.
‘All the swabs have come back negative,’ the doctor said. ‘So we’ll treat it as though it’s a severe kind of eczema called eczema herpeticum.’
Jagger was placed on an antiviral intravenous drip. He could have been contagious, and he was at risk of infection himself as he had open wounds. So he was put in isolation.
Anyone entering his room had to wear protective clothing.
Thankfully he didn’t get a fever or swollen lymph glands, often associated with the disease. But the rash got angrier by the day. After three days, the medication finally kicked in.
The tiny red blisters burst and the rash began scabbing over. But that meant Jagger couldn’t lie or even sit down.
Each time he did, his scabs would painfully crack open.
Instead, he toddled around the room endlessly until he collapsed, exhausted, in our arms. My heart broke for him.
A week later, armed with a strong steroid cream and medical grade Vaseline to keep his skin moist, we took him home. My older children River, seven, and Scarlett, four, were thrilled to see him.
Slowly but surely, Jagger’s skin healed. After his dermatologist told me Childs Farm bubble bath would be gentle on his skin, Jagger was able to enjoy a splash about.
It’s now been a year since Jagger’s rash, and we still don’t know what it was for sure. But so far his skin has stayed clear.
It was terrifying seeing my boy so sore, but there’s no stopping him now