Doctors, despite their best efforts, are not infallible. But one eight-year-old girl was left clinging to life after her doctor dismissed her serious condition as nothing more than a mere “nut allergy.” Although a bacterial infection was destroying her body from inside out, the doctor believes that she had just a bad case of an allergy from nuts. In reality, the bacteria ravaged her internal organs and thrust her life in jeopardy.
When eight-year-old Gabriella Bondi experienced dry skin last August, her doctors thought it was nothing but a mild allergic reaction. Since it is “popular” for children to have allergies to nuts these days, the doctors dismissed Bondi’s case as nothing more serious than that – practically laughing at her parents’ fears that it could be something more serious. The doctors should have listened to Bondi’s mother’s intuition.
Within days of her misdiagnosis, Bondi started to lose hair on her head. Then a painful red rash broke out across her body. Something was terribly wrong with the Colorado girl, and the doctors had to figure it out.
Meanwhile, her mother, 35-year-old Christine Bondi-Cerrato, skipped over her pediatrician and rushed Gabriella straight to the emergency room. The doctors diagnosed her with toxic shock syndrome, which is life-threatening.
As it turned out, her impetigo caused the deadly condition. Because doctors initially misdiagnosed her, Gabriella lost vital time that could have been used to stop the condition from spreading. Now she needed intense intravenous antibiotics to curb the bacteria before it took over her bloodstream and got to more parts of the body. Once these toxins get in the blood, they travel to organs and attack them.
The condition is very rare, affecting only one of every 100,000 people.
Not only does the bacteria’s toxins affect internal organs, but it also affects the skin, which is an organ. That’s why Gabriella was getting a painful rash. The bacteria was killing her skin from the inside.
Now Bondi’s mother wants the world to see photos of her daughter’s pain. She hopes these jarring photos will raise awareness about the condition and get people to act earlier, so they’re not fighting for their life like Gabriella had to.
“At first I thought she’d eaten something she was allergic to,” the mother said. “The pediatrician we saw put her on Benadryl and simply diagnosed a suspected food allergy. He sent us home with hopes that she would feel better. But by late that evening, her face had gotten worse and suddenly – in a matter of mere hours – her whole body was covered in a red rash that was red and painful. Her armpits looked like she almost had a sunburn. We tried to keep her comfortable throughout the night, but by the next afternoon, it was clear that the rashes, swelling, and lesions were getting worse and not better.”
That’s when mom rushed her daughter to the emergency room. Doctors there took swift action, proving the small girl with intravenous antibiotics to fight the infection.
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