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Kaelin's story   — Rhonda Patton, TN, USA

My pregnancy was glorious until it took a sudden turn in August 1996. My daughter, Kaelin was born on July 30, 1996 with an apgar of 10 and " as healthy as a horse" her doctor stated. Kaelin came home on August 3 and by August 16 she was fighting for her life. With symptoms of a 104 fever, stiff neck, vomiting, sensitivity to light, no appetite, and a high-pitch cry I immediately rushed her to the emergency room. By the time we were triaged she had began to turn blue, her eyes were uneven and her head began to swell. She began to have seizures and go into convulsions. Several tests (spinal tap, blood work, etc.) were run and she was quarantined because the Doctors were baffled by her symptoms. After 24 hours of no diagnosis, Kaelin took a turn for the worse and stopped breathing. I ask to have my daughter transferred to another hospital with more expertise in caring for Children. She was life flighted to Vanderbilt Hopsital and was diagnosed with Strep B meningitis. I later found out that I was a GBS carrier the entire time of my pregnancy in which my doctor failed to diagnose. I was not given any antibiotics during labor. My water was broken at 4 a.m. and Kaelin didn't arrive until 4 p.m. The bacteria had caused the meningitis and the rupture of membranes for 24 hours didn't help. Thank God, today Kaelin is a happy and blessed 9 year old who is optimistic despite her being legally blind and having severe learning disabilities. Thank you for your awareness. I plead to all women to make sure your doctor tests you for GBS.

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