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‘It’s so scary’: Mother remains traumatized a year after baby’s RSV diagnosis

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BOSTON – Beautiful Charlotte is a happy, smiley, 14-month-old baby. She lights up watching Cocomelon on TV. Mom Emily says she’s always like this; a dream come true. But protecting this precious baby from rampant RSV this season has been a nightmare for the mother.

“I’m literally traumatized. There’s not a time that goes by I don’t think about that. It’s so scary,” said Emily Sauro, emotionally.

Charlotte was only seven weeks old last October, when the respiratory virus brought them to the emergency department. Emily knew what to look for after her older son suffered RSV in the past. With Charlotte, the mother said they were about to be discharged, when her baby stopped breathing.

“I just remember looking down and seeing her like that and screaming. Then there were just a million people everywhere,” she recalled.

Charlotte spent two and a half weeks in the pediatric ICU at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

“They’re hooked up to a million machines. That breathing sounds like taking their last breath, it’s the only way I can describe it,” Emily said sadly.

In the year since, Charlotte still requires a nebulizer treatment or inhaler twice daily. She can’t go to daycare, and the family still takes a lot of precautions at their home in Grafton.

“When your newborn is not breathing in your arms, it feels like forever,” the mother added.

As cases surge heading into the holidays, she urges new parents to stay vigilant. Be the squeaky wheel if you suspect something isn’t right. No one knows your baby like you.

Emily said, “It can be all OK one second and the furthest thing from it the next.”

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