A two-year old was left fighting for her life and covered in weeping sores after a doctor prescribed Nurofen.
Little Macey Marsh was taken to her local GP surgery by parents suffering from a rash and puffy eyes. The locum GP told her parents, Matt and Sarah Marsh, that the toddler was “run-down” and prescribed alternating doses of Nurofen and Calpol.
However, just hours later, her eyes were stuck fast with mucus and her parents, who live in Chertsey, Surrey, visited their local A&E at St Peter’s Hospital; Macey was diagnosed with scarlet fever and sent home with penicillin.
The next morning, though, her condition had deteriorated and Macey’s face was covered in incredibly painful sores and blisters. Macey’s other, Sarah, said: “The blisters were bursting. Poor little Macey was in so much pain, I raced her round to our local walk-in centre and they called an ambulance.” Macey was rushed to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South West London so that specialists in infectious diseases could determine whether she had picked up an unusual disease.
Doctors were able to determine that Macey was suffering from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome; the Syndrome affects only 1 in 50,000 people and is caused by a severe allergic reaction to a medicine or virus. Macey spent ten days in intensive care and is not out of the woods yet; there is still the possibility that her condition will further deteriorate or that her eyesight will be left permanently damaged. Doctors have described her survival thus far as “a miracle.”
Her distraught father, 37 year-old Matt said: “I wouldn’t wish what happened on us to anybody. The thought of losing her was just unbearable. We hit rock bottom. Doctors explained her eyes may have started attaching to the inside of her eyelids and her corneas could be so severely damaged she may never see again. It was terrifying. We’d never heard of SJS before and we were deeply traumatised. It’s an awful condition, you’re lucky to survive it. She was still blind and her skin was blistering all over her body.”
Macey has now been allowed home but her face will take a year to heal and she will require eye checks for years, possibly life. Her parents are making an official complaint against the GP that prescribed the Nurofen and a spokesman for the popular painkiller made a statement: “We are very sorry to hear about Macey’s condition and wish her a swift and full recovery. Stevens- Johnson Syndrome is an extremely rare but known reaction to a multitude of triggers such as infections, medications or illness. We would urge consumers to carefully read and adhere to the instructions provided.”