27-year-old full-time mom, Lorna Hoy has been spreading awareness on social media to let other parents know that even a harmless kiss can be detrimental to their child. Her two-year-old son, Kalo Hoy was hospitalized for four days after his face, arms and legs were ravaged by sores, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1).
Lorna and her partner, Andy Briggs live in Salford, England, with their four children. Little Kalo is their youngest child. None of their other children who are aged 8, 6, and 4 have not contracted the disease. It was a painful ordeal having to watch their sibling Kalo go through so much pain, all because someone kissed him.
Lorna said they had tried on two occasions to get medical care for Kalo, but the doctors dismissed his case.. They didn’t check to see what exactly was wrong with the boy, and dismissed it as unserious. It was only during the third visit that they tested for the virus, which he, unfortunately, tested positive for.
The doctors believe an infected adult kissed him at some point since the HSV-1 is most often transmitted through the saliva.
Kalo’s painful experience
Kalo spent four days at the Wythenshawe hospital, Manchester, from January 12 to January 16. He was placed on a major antibiotic treatment to fight any secondary infection from the open sores. He was also placed on anti-viral medications to help fight the incurable virus.
In an interview with the Caters News agency, Lorna discussed her son’s painful experience and the dangers of letting HSV-1 go untreated in infants . The amount of pain Kalo had been through was enough to have been fatal, had he been a baby. The immune system of a newborn is not developed enough to fight off a strong HSV-1 infection. His entire face and patches on his arms and legs were open, raw, and sore from the virus.
“Kissing children on their mouths and sharing cutlery is a common way to catch herpes, as it’s spread through saliva,” Lorna explained. “As a family never thought this would happen to us but we’re so lucky that Kalo pulled through after his treatment. Kalo had red spots all over this face, chest, and arm before he was diagnosed with herpes. He had ulcers in his mouth and needed injections in his eyes to ensure the infection hadn’t spread to them as this could’ve blinded him.”
She hopes that no other child would have to suffer the same fate as Kalo. Parents have to insist their kids get tested at the hospital once the first signs of redness appear.
“I have heard of babies dying from catching this virus which is awful and I think the only reason Kalo survived is that he was just under two at the time. I hope our story serves as a warning to other parents as it could happen to anyone.”
34-year-old Andy Briggs, Kalo’s father expressed his gratitude to the staff at the Wythenshawe for helping Kalo get through the ordeal. He struggled with feeding before he was diagnosed, but the nurses were able to get him to start.
“Lorna shared the pictures of Kalo via Facebook to raise awareness for the infection and it went viral,” he said. “We want to encourage people to research the virus and look into its causes to prevent their children from going through what Kalo did.”
Kalo has recovered fully from the ordeal. He’s back to his old self now, and the scars from his sores are beginning to fade. Kalo is still young, so they should become less visible as he gets older.
“We would all like to say thanks to the staff who cared for Kalo in one way or another at Wythenshawe Hospital,” Lorna said. “I hope through sharing our experiences of it that we prevent others from going through the same.”
If you would like to learn more about the herpes simplex virus and what you can do as a parent visit HealthyChildren.org. If you notice your child experiencing any symptoms related to the virus, we encourage you to seek medical intervention.