Facebook saves the life of a child

by Deborah Braconnier report

Deborah Copaken Kogan’s Mother’s Day wasn’t exactly what she was hoping for when she woke up to discover her 4-year-old son Leo was sick with a rash. She posted a status message on the social networking site, Facebook, with a picture of her son saying she was at the pediatrician’s office. Little did she know, but that status message would be responsible for saving her son’s life.

Leo’s physician first believed that he looked as though he had strep and began treating him for the infection. However, by the next morning, Leo was worse and the doctor changed the diagnosis to scarlet fever. It was after this trip to the doctor that Leo’s mom posted another picture of Leo and the swelling that he was experiencing.

A few moments later her phone rang telling her she needed to get Leo to the hospital immediately. The woman on the other end of the phone was her friend Stephanie. Her son, only a few years earlier, was hospitalized with a rare disease known as and Stephanie was sure Leo had the same. It wasn’t long after that Kogan’s cousin, a pediatric cardiologist, called with the same thought.

Kogan rushed her son to the hospital where he would spend the next three weeks being treated for Kawasaki disease and liver complications.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Kawasaki disease is a rare disease that occurs in childhood that causes blood vessel walls throughout the body to become inflamed. It causes symptoms such as a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, a rash, cracked lips, swollen tongue, swollen palms and feet and redness in the eyes.

Kawasaki disease is not contagious and with medication most children fully recover. Treatment must begin immediately with high doses of intravenous gamma globulin. If untreated, it can lead to complications such as aneurysms and heart attacks.

Kogan was advised that Leo will have to have yearly echocardiograms to monitor his heart for any damage that may have occurred.
While many people across the world blame sites like for things like cyber-bullying, this is a case where posting information to a friend’s list saved the life of a child.

Related Stories

Valley Fever often misdiagnosed

Feb 28, 2011

While common in Arizona, Valley Fever often is misdiagnosed in patients, leading to a litany of problems. The infection is caused by inhaling a fungus that lives in the soil and becomes airborne by wind, dust storms, digging ...

Kids born with HIV growing up well

Apr 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Once facing an almost certain death sentence, most children born with HIV are now faring well into adolescence and adulthood, according to a newly published study co-authored by Tulane infectious diseases ...

Recommended for you

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

7 hours ago

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

7 hours ago

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

11 hours ago

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

11 hours ago

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Ricochet
not rated yet Jul 18, 2011
So, now that Facebook has officially claimed a life and saved a life, it can be ruled that Facebook is like anything else out there that's both good and bad for you...
MentalHealthNut
1 / 5 (1) Jul 23, 2011
With all of the data mining, consensual violation of privacy and consensual surrender of the fourth amendment, Facebook consistently creates more harm than good. Stephanie, Kogan's cousin, and all of the doctors who worked on her son are the ones who saved a life. Not Facebook.
Ricochet
not rated yet Jul 25, 2011
So, in a similar situation, but with only human interaction, you'd say the person that called 911 had nothing to do with saving the life? Or, on the flip side, the person that tips-off the "mob" that a certain person is in a certain location, has nothing to do with that person's death?

Or, are you treating Facebook like the actual phone, phone line, and phone company(ies) handling the call?