Facebook Saved Her Son’s Life

Category: Offbeat / Jul 15, 2011 3:05PM EDT
In less than a decade, Facebook has blasted from 0 to 750 million and has transformed the nature of human connectedness across the globe. The name itself has even evolved from a simple noun to perfectly acceptable usages as a verb. OMG Facebook is huge and now Facebook has saved a life. An article released by Slate Magazine a couple of days ago tells the story of Deborah Kogan, the mother of four year old, Leo, whose life was saved after Deborah’s friends on Facebook were able to diagnose Leo’s mysterious condition from pictures Deborah had posted of him. The story, told in Deborah’s own words, began Mother’s Day morning when Leo woke up with a rash she was sure was strep-related. A picture taken of Leo while visiting the doctor that day soon landed on her Facebook page since it was determined he did not have strep and his symptoms were steadily progressing. More pictures of Leo were soon to follow as his swelling and fever got worse, along with questions about her son’s ailment. The very next day she received a phone call from a friend whose son had experienced the exact same symptoms and had been hospitalized for Kawasaki disease. Other messages from friends writing they also believed it to be Kawasaki seemed to confirm it. Kawasaki is a disease that attacks the coronary arteries surrounding the heart and can be fatal. Deborah rushed her son to the hospital where it was in fact confirmed to be Kawasaki disease and Leo immediately underwent treatment. Three weeks later, Leo was released with a recovering liver and mostly healed heart. Due to his condition, Leo will have to have echocardiograms done every year for the rest of his life to monitor his heart and prevent the occurrence of a spontaneous heart attack. Support from Deborah’s Facebook friends continued throughout the ordeal and in her story she writes that Facebook made her “feel connected—profoundly connected—to the human race while living, breathing, eating and sleeping in the isolating, fluorescent-lit bubble of a children’s hospital ward.”