Parents forced to have 2-yr-old's arms, legs amputated to save his life after he contracted deadly infection
Jeremiah Cox had been happy and playing in the park just a day before he started developing a high fever on September 29
A toddler in the US had to get the lower part of all four limbs amputated because of a mystery infection that he contracted which left the doctors baffled. Two-year-old Jeremiah Cox started developing a high fever on September 29 — a little after his 19-year-old mother, Ashley Cox, went on maternity leave. After the toddler was rushed to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, his health deteriorated at a rapid pace with the appearance of large purple bruises all across his tiny body.
The Daily Mail reported that the doctors at the hospital diagnosed him with septic shock and the condition called purpura, which they believe was caused by an unknown bacterial infection. Even though the antibiotics that Jeremiah was prescribed killed the infection, the blood supply to his arms and legs had already stopped. The infection then seemed like it was going to spread.
In order to save the toddler's life, the doctors were forced to make the difficult decision of amputating his limbs below the knees and elbows. It has been a little over a month now and Jeremiah is still recovering in the hospital where he's learning how to crawl and eat all over again. The toddler had been happy and playing in the park just a day before he fell ill.
His 21-year-old father, Nicholas Thompson, told AOL in an interview: "It's kind of like blood vessels that are ruptured really in the body." When the child started developing the fever followed by violent fits of vomiting, his concerned parents took him to the ER where they were given the shocking news. Ashley, his mother, said: "Just to watch your child lay there and watch everything die, and then basically watching your son die in front of you — it's crazy."
Because the doctors were unable to figure out the cause of his rapidly spreading purpura, they gave the child an antibiotic and hoped that it would kill any bacterial infection that was present.
Ashley said: "If they didn’t give it to him my boy wouldn’t be here." Purpura is a condition when the small blood vessels in the body burst and cause the blood to form a pool right beneath the skin. This is what makes the purple-colored spots on the skin.
Even though the toddler's treatment was deemed a success, the exceptionally low blood pressure that he had already managed to cut off the blood supply to his limbs which left the doctors with no option but to amputate all four limbs. Jeremiah is out of intensive care now but he has a long way to go before full recovery. The doctors are hoping that he will be able to start his rehabilitation this week.
While at the rehabilitation unit, the toddler will be forced to relearn how to crawl and eat. He will also be learning how to walk with the hope that he will be given prosthetics sometime in the future. The medics have told his parents that they will probably never know the real cause behind the life-threatening illness. While Jeremiah was fighting for his life, Ashley gave birth to the couples' fourth child.
The parents are happy that their son survived but are afraid that he may realize he is different in the future. Thompson told WTHR: "I think he's really recognizing that everything's gone. At this point, now he's realizing his life has changed."
Jeremiah's parents are currently living off Thompson's income and have set up a GoFundMe page so that they can pay for their child's rehabilitation. The toddler's story comes at a time when another mystery illness, which some have claimed to be polio, is raging across the US.
In this year alone, at least 72 children across 22 states have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, which is an infection that causes random and sudden paralysis in children. Another 83 children are being investigated for the illness.