It was a simple, sweet kiss from a family member that ended up endangering 3-year-old Sienna Duffield’s health.
Sienna’s mother, Savina French-Bell, 21, was concerned when her child’s face suddenly erupted into blisters on her second birthday, Inside Edition reports.
“It started to look like someone had thrown acid over her face, it spread from her mouth to her cheeks, and above her eyes,” French-Bell said. “People would give us horrible looks, children would stare and adults would make nasty comments.”
What’s more, the child had stopped eating. Even worse, her mother began noticing blood on the toddler’s clothes.
Doctors were perplexed, diagnosing Sienna with various ailments ranging from eczema to allergies.
“For eight months, no antibiotics were working as the infection kept coming back and her face was being ravaged,” said French-Bell. “I was told she may have allergies to something, so I kept her away from pets and made sure she no longer consumed any dairy products.”
Finally, after all the treatments had failed, doctors realized what was going on: the child had the incurable herpes simplex type one virus.
“I realized that she kissed a family member last year which brought on the infection,” French-Bell said. “Everyone in the family was distraught.”
Thankfully, Sienna’s face went back to normal after doctors prescribed flucloxacillin antibiotics — but Sienna is still not totally in the clear.
- Although dormant now, her herpes can flare up at any time.
- French-Bell is happy her daughter can at least live more like a normal child.
“For the past few months Sienna’s face has looked amazing and the infection has not returned,” her mother said. “There is always a chance of it coming back, but fingers crossed it won’t happen and her skin will stay as good as it is now. It’s great to be able to go outside and not get any horrible comments from anyone.”
This was not the first time a child contracted herpes after a well-meaning person kissed them.
U.K. mother Claire Henderson shared photos of her baby on Facebook after she contracted herpes, shocking many.
“Please share this with every new mum and pregnant woman you know,” she wrote in September 2015. “Before 3 months old, a baby cannot fight the herpes virus. If a baby contracts this it can cause liver and brain damage and lead to death.”
Sources: Inside Edition