A schoolboy was left fighting for his life after he was struck down by a rare disease which covered his entire body in blisters and burns.
Ollie Williams, five, had a tiny red rash behind his ear, but within ONE HOUR it spread across his entire body.
Devastated mum Carly, 30, watched as it turned into blisters and burns before her eyes but claims on-phone medics told her it was a simple “viral infection”.
She rushed him to hospital and was put in a coma for two weeks, while medics tried to control the burns that spread across his face and body – even fusing his EYES shut.
The lad, who has an identical twin Jake, was “treated as if he had had acid thrown at him” and underwent skin grafts to save his life.
Brave Carly told how he was “wrapped up like a mummy” in bandages from head to toe, leaving him unrecognisable.
He had been stuck down with Stevens-Johnson syndrome – a rare, serious disorder of the skin and membranes, which is usually a reaction to a medication or an infection.
Two months on, Ollie is home but is scarred for life, and Carly said the family is constantly reminded of what he’s been through, because of his identical twin.
Medics don’t know what triggered the disease – which also caused a collapsed lung, “twisted” heart and unable to walk without the help of a frame.
Mum-of-five Carly, from Newbury, Berkshire, said: “Mum Carly said: “It was the worst time of my life.
“We genuinely did think we were going to lose our son.
“I just can’t get my head around it just happening out of the blue.
“He was a perfectly healthy boy and in the space of a few hours he was left fighting for his life.
“Ollie was treated as if he had had acid thrown at him.
“The hardest thing was coming home and seeing his identical twin.
“Ollie was wrapped up like a mummy.
“He was unrecognisable and I was just begging for my son back.
“His eyeballs were fused together and we’d have to watch doctors use plastic scrapers under his eyes to remove the mucus.
“We’d see Ollie on a feeding tube and ventilator and then come home and see Jake running about.
“It was a constant reminder of just how ill Ollie was and it was a real possibility we were about to lose him.”
Carly first noticed her son wasn’t feeling well when he was treated to his favourite McDonald’s meal one evening and spat it out, in May.
She carried her son to the sofa and noticed a small red rash behind his ear, which spread Ollie’s entire body, and started to blister, within an hour.
Carly said: “It was incredibly scary.
“I could see the blisters developing in front of my eyes.
“He was sitting down eating a McDonald’s and he turned round and said it was disgusting.
“It was weird because that’s his absolute favourite.
“Then he just chucked it up.
“When he turned his head that’s when I noticed a red rash behind his ear but it didn’t seem like anything.
“He’s allergic to cats so I just presumed he had come into loose contact with one when he visited his grandparents.
“But within an hour I just watched the rash spread across his body.
“I genuinely could see it spreading with my own eyes.
“I phoned the hospital but it was dismissed as a viral infection.
“I knew deep down it wasn’t just that.
“I stayed by his side during the night.”
She called again in the early hours of the morning after Ollie’s lips became swollen but was told to treat it with Calpol, she said.
It wasn’t until Carly called her GP at 8am the next morning Ollie was rushed to Basingstoke hospital and immediately put into an induced coma.
He was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Carly said: “The doctors were absolutely flabbergasted.
“Only two nurses and a doctor had seen another case before.
“The others said it was something they were told they would learn about in a textbook but probably never come across it.
“His whole skin from head to toe just blistered and fell off; the protective layers of his eyes, the bottom of his feet, even his own fingernails came off.”
Devastated parents Carly and Kelvin took it in turns to be beside Ollie’s side – in hospital for up to 19 hours – while looking after other kids Courtney, 11, Archie, eight, Jake, five, and eleven-month-old Tommie.
Ollie remained in the induced coma for the next two weeks doctors told parents Carly and Kelvin to prepare for the worst.
He was then transferred 80 miles away to a specialist burns unit at Bristol Royal Infirmary where doctors wrapped Ollie up “like a mummy”.
But during the remaining two week hospital stay schoolboy Ollie also contracted sepsis – leaving him once again having to fight for his life.
Carly added: “When he first woke up doctors had to re-inflate his lung which collapsed.
“This pushed up against his heart and ended up twisting it.
“When they managed to re-inflate it the heart pushed itself back on its own accord.
“This happened in the space of a day so everyday was really emotional.
“He coughed up this slime and it was all this gunk coming out of his lung.
“If it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses Ollie wouldn’t be here.
“I can’t thank them enough.
“I just want to raise awareness amongst parents.
“It can be brought on by ibuprofen and anyone can get it.
“I think other parents need to be warned about the signs.”
He was finally discharged from hospital on May 29, but is still off school, re-learning to walk with the help of a frame and weekly physio visits.
Carly said: “It has been really tough.
“We genuinely did think we were going to lose our son.
“Doctors told us it was hour by hour and we were preparing ourselves for the worst.
“But I’m just in awe of his determination.
“We don’t know if he’ll be permanently scarred until a year down the line really.
“He can’t walk long by himself and struggles on stairs.
“We have to supervise him all the time and we’re getting a banister fitted so he can also hold on.
“We do physio with him which includes walking a certain distance and half way back or doing 5 press ups against a wall to build his arm strength.
“His legs ache very bad and he gets extremely tired out.
“He used to be the sporty kid at school and would always be playing football.
“He has been referred for physio to our local hospital to start sessions with them.
“He really is our miracle son.”