Mum’s ‘pure horror’ as newborn almost dies from deadly virus

A mother has revealed her harrowing ordeal when she nearly lost her newborn daughter, who was diagnosed with a highly contagious virus twice.

Hollie Ryan, only 10-weeks old, was brought into the world a month early, and has battled respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) twice.

Her mum, Genevieve Rogers, told The Courier-Mail there was a moment when she didn't know if her baby girl would still be alive once they landed in Brisbane from their home in Roma.

"She was diagnosed with RSV on February 27, we took her to Roma Hospital with the advice from the GP and she went downhill really fast," Ms Rogers said.

"They were due to fly her out Monday, the Royal Flying Doctor's Service (RFDS) arrived at lunch time, but she was that sick that it took them four hours to stabilise her for the actual plane."

Hollie Ryan was diagnosed with RSV twice. Pic: Supplied
Hollie Ryan was diagnosed with RSV twice. Pic: Supplied

Hollie was only seven weeks old at the time. Her symptoms began with a sniffle, but progressed to difficulty breathing.

"We were really close to losing her, it was horrifying," she said.

"If I had known more about RSV, or if there was more in the media about it, I could have known the signs and taken her in a lot sooner.

"I had no idea how contagious and prolific it is."

It comes as The Courier-Mail reported yesterday that hospitals and GPs have reported a "significant spike" in the number of young children presenting with RSV.

Queensland Children's Hospital recorded a 55 per cent spike in respiratory presentations, which include RSV, in February compared to the same time last year and a 45 per cent increase in January.

The common virus, which can lead to viral croup, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, generally results in minor illness in most people, however, it can be severe in people with weakened immune systems and young children.

Hollie Ryan was flown to Brisbane by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Pic: Supplied
Hollie Ryan was flown to Brisbane by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Pic: Supplied

The virus is more commonly seen in winter and symptoms may include a runny nose, cough, fever, sore throat, and headache.

Ms Rogers recalled a moment where the RFDS' paediatrician said there was a chance little Hollie could lose her life.

"She assessed Hollie and then came out of the room and said to us, 'this is a very sick little girl'," Ms Rogers said.

"I asked if she might die, and she looked at me and said "yes, she might".

Hollie was taken from Roma Hospital to the Queensland Children's Hospital by the RFDS, a trip Ms Rogers is not likely to forget.

"I can't even describe the feeling," she said.

"We didn't know if she would be alive when the plane landed in Brisbane.

"It was terrifying. I was on the plane with her, and I was just in a state of pure horror, any beeping that would happen was absolutely terrifying."

Genevieve Rogers said the ordeal was “terrifying”. Pictured with her baby, Hollie Ryan. Pic: Supplied
Genevieve Rogers said the ordeal was “terrifying”. Pictured with her baby, Hollie Ryan. Pic: Supplied

Hollie was in the Intensive Care Unit for four days with a breathing tube, and then was in the ward for three days before being discharged.

When the family returned to Roma, Ms Rogers took extra precautions keeping Hollie safe - but she was diagnosed with RSV a second time two weeks later.

Luckily her symptoms were less severe and she was in Toowoomba Hospital just for monitoring.

"I want to get the word out there about RSV," Ms Rogers said.

"My sister has a four-week old baby in Brisbane and she is well aware because of what's happened to us.

"But I think there could be a lot more to prevent it, and for people to be aware of the symptoms to look out for."

A Queensland Health spokesman yesterday said many symptoms of RSV can mirror COVID-19 symptoms.

Originally published as Mum's 'pure horror' as newborn almost dies from deadly virus



‘Confronting’: TCC students re-enact fatal car crash

Premium Content ‘Confronting’: TCC students re-enact fatal car crash

The students learnt about important road safety and the fatal five in the realistic...

REIQ calls for government help as vacancy rates remain low

Premium Content REIQ calls for government help as vacancy rates remain low

The report revealed 70.2 per cent of the state’s rental vacancies remained under 1...

No confidence repeat DV offender would comply with bail

Premium Content No confidence repeat DV offender would comply with bail

A man with eight convictions for domestic violence and one for deprivation of...