Holiday of Miracles Patient Story: Giancarlo

“I really have to collect my thoughts.” Giancarlo’s mom Sylvia began.

Giancarlo had been playing on a travel baseball team. He began developing a fever. It escalated and he began seeing things, felt he had a strained muscle and looked pale. They went to a hospital but were sent to Rady Children’s. The staff told Sylvia that she needed to ride in an ambulance with Giancarlo, because they weren’t sure he would make it to Rady Children’s.

At Rady Children’s, he was diagnosed with Necrotizing Faciitis, which is a a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue. (Necrotizing means “causing the death of tissues.”) Accurate diagnosis, prompt treatment with antibiotics (medicines that kill bacteria in the body) through a vein, and surgery are important to stopping this infection that can become life-threatening in a very short amount of time.

“I felt like my blood just left my body because he was an athlete. He played football, lifted, practiced, worked out all summer long. At that moment you have all of these thoughts. Will he play sports, fall into a depression. As a parent, how do we handle this and maintain my strength.” Sylvia recalls.

Giancarlo remained at Rady Children’s two months, beginning in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for one month. Giancarlo was sedated for about a month and he has no recollection of that time. At first, Giancarlo was in chronic organ failure, and the team at Rady Children’s had to try to pinpoint the open wound.

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