A mom’s worst nightmare is when their child gets sick, but it’s even worse when there is nothing you can do about it!
Mandy Suzanne Smith picked up her son Zachary from school as he was complaining of poison oak on his foot and his eyes were itchy. The next day, the rash had spread onto his entire body and he was running a fever.
Doctors firs thought it was some type of viral infection, but the medications he was prescribed weren’t working and his symptoms worsened. His eyes were blood shot red and his lips were beginning to crack and peal. The doctors then discovered that Zachary had SJS (Stevens Johnson syndrome). It literally burns you from the inside out. He had been taking a medication called lamotrigine (lamictal) for migraines.
“We never even thought what was going on with him could have been an allergic reaction because he had been on it for 12 days. So I thought surely if he was having some type of reaction to it then it would have happened the first night that he had taken it. I was giving him the very thing that was killing him and had no idea.” she writes on Facebook.
He was then sent to Batsons Children Hospital for 4 days, and with every day that passed his symptoms got worse and worse, leaving his parents with little answers.
A dermatologist who did a skin biopsy on him, confirmed to Mandy that he had SJS and it had turned into TENS. When the concerned parents asked her if their son would be okay, she said “I don’t know, he is a very sick little boy.”
They then airlifted the poor child 2 and a half hours away to another hospital that had a burn unit that was more experienced with dealing with SJS/TENS. By this point, it had gotten so bad that Zachary’s skin had began to blister and bubble up and was actually coming off. He screamed and cried the entire ride.
Mandy says: “As a parent, there is nothing in this world worse than seeing your child hurt and be that sick and not be able to do a thing about it.”
As soon as they arrived, the doctors placed Zachary in a medically induced coma and they would be doing surgery to remove his skin and then would wrap him in a material called biobrane while his new skin grew back under it.
Before his surgery, Mandy told her son “how much she loved him and that everything would be okay”, before giving him a kiss.
“A few hours later they allowed me to come back into the icu room and see him. He had been put into a coma, was completely wrapped up from head to toe, and had tubes everywhere, with a machine breathing for him. I broke down. I was so overwhelmed and just could not believe that this was actually happening. The only question I could ask the doctor was “is he going to make it?” And when his answer was “I don’t know” that killed me even more. I needed reassurance. I needed to hear “yes, he is going to be okay”
At the hotel they were staying at nearby, Mandy saw a bible laying out on the desk that was opened to John 9. In it, was a verse about how Jesus had healed a blind man by putting mud on his eyes and then telling him to go to Siloam and wash it off, and when he did his sight was restored.
It was then and there at that exact moment that Mandy had received reassurance: “I knew this was the lord telling me, “I’ve got this, put your faith in me and I will deliver” and that is exactly what he did.
Zachary’s body had been 90% affected. He also had infection in his lungs. He was very very sick but after being there a month he was alive, awake, and healing well!
Zachary told his parents that while he was in his coma, he was never actually asleep, and that a strong angel named Samson held him in his arms, and that he had also seen his “mawmaw patsy” that had passed. He said he laid in her lap and she scratched his back.
“If that’s not the work of God then I just don’t know what is. I know that we all think nothing like this can ever happen to us or our children, but it can. You never know what situation you might find yourself in, but no matter the situation, give it to God. He is mighty and he is faithful and he will be there.”
“I hope these pictures don’t bother anyone, because in the beginning we never intended on anyone to ever see them besides family, but I can’t help but show Gods work. He took what was our biggest nightmare and turned it into our biggest blessing. Not only did Zachary heal, but he has also had no long term complications from being sick. Never take your children’s health for granted because it can all change in a second. Zachary is our sjs warrior and we are so thankful to still have him.”
You can learn more about SJS here: https://www.facebook.com/Sjsawarenesswalklouisiana/