WADSWORTH, Ohio (WJW) – In the middle of a summer church picnic, Jennifer Wozny noticed something was seriously wrong with her four-week-old baby girl, June.
At first June seemed sleepy, but later that day the otherwise healthy baby refused to nurse or take a bottle. June suddenly became congested before having difficulty taking a breath.
The color, her mother described, began to drain from June’s face.
“I’ve never had my kids look like that grey, blue, distressed breathing,” said the mom of three. “Her chin started bobbing up and down. She was really struggling to breath”
What she didn’t realize in the moment were the severe symptoms some babies and children can get with an RSV infection.
Cases are currently sweeping the nation, hitting harder and earlier in the year than expected. They’re pushing some pediatric hospitals toward capacity limits.
Wozny said RSV was not on her radar because her baby became ill in July.
She bumped up a previously scheduled appointment with her daughter’s pediatrician and rushed her over, only to learn oxygen was desperately needed.
“He said really slow to me, ‘We’re going to have to take her by ambulance to Akron Children’s,'” recalled Wozny. ‘”We need to get her to Children’s right away.”
June was hospitalized for eight days on a ventilator and feeding tube. Wozny said she was stunned to learn her baby was battling RSV and pneumonia.
“As soon as they put the ventilator and I was like, ‘I can no longer even hold my baby,’ that was tough,” Wozny said. “I was just praying every day.”
Since then, June recovered, she’s four months old and hitting milestones.
“She’s definitely a fighter, definitely strong,” said Wozny.
Wozny is sharing the story of her family’s terrifying ordeal with RSV as a warning to other parents not to brush off symptoms or delay care.
“Be on the lookout for RSV,” she said. “I never thought it would happen to me.”