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Carrie's Story

Mother of two Carrie-Anne shares her story of her son's struggle with RSV at 6 months old.

My husband and I had never heard of RSV, so it was a shock when our youngest son was diagnosed with the disease at the age of only 6 months.

My first thought when I started to see my son feel poorly was that he just had a common cold, as he was coughing and slightly chesty. I decided the next step would be to call 111 and was told to go to the hospital straight away, where there was a team waiting for us in A&E that admitted him immediately. As soon as I saw my son's energy level drop and his inability to feed, that's what pushed me to call 111.

I was going back and forth in my head and second-guessing myself, thinking what Lilly was experiencing could be normal, so I decided before calling 111, I would post a video of her breathing on a Facebook parenting group I'm in to get a second opinion. I received a lot of responses and other parents encouraged me to call 111.

I made the call to 111 and following their advice, I took Lilly to A&E and she was admitted to a children's ward. I was informed shortly afterwards that she had bronchiolitis, caused by RSV, at only 6 days old. She was monitored at the time and not given any oxygen.

“The unknown was the most terrifying.”

I would say the biggest surprise throughout the whole situation was the unknown elements and not knowing what was coming next or what having RSV and the way it was affecting my son meant for him in the short or long term.

I want to advise other parents to understand that if their child is experiencing RSV, it may get worse before it gets better. Your baby might not go back to 'normal' immediately. By the time my son left the hospital it took him some time to regain his mobility after being bed-ridden for eight days.

You don't need to tick off all the symptoms for your baby to have RSV, so if you suspect anything it's best to call in the first instance and speak with a healthcare professional.

Find more advice on how to manage RSV and its signs and symptoms on our Know the Facts page.