"When Mackenzie first got this rash we thought she had chickenpox," says Brianna. "But the next day she had blisters all over her body and in her mouth so we took her to the clinic. At first, the doctors thought she was contagious then they said it looked like SJS—Stevens Johnson Syndrome.
They asked what medications she was taking. I had the bottle of Children's Motrin with me and showed it to the doctors. They told us not to give it to her anymore because SJS was a reaction to this drug.
By now Mackenzie wasn't drinking or eating anything—it was very serious. As you can imagine, she wouldn't stop crying and it was breaking my heart. She was taken by ambulance to the Children's Hospital in Spokane and admitted to the infectious diseases ward. I was right behind the ambulance in our car. We had to wear a special suit to go into the room and several doctors took pictures of her because they had never seen a SJS Children's Motrin case so severe as hers.
They couldn't really do anything to treat SJS except give her an IV. The doctors said if she had gotten to the hospital any later, I would have to sit in that room and watch her die. It took three days before she was able to eat or drink—the longest three days of my life. I sat in that hospital and cried…
But the worst part of SJS is that Mackenzie is now prone to any kind of sickness because Stevens Johnson Syndrome has compromised her immune system. She can never again take Motrin and I have to check with her doctor before she is given any kind of medication, even over-the-counter meds.
I never saw anything on the Children's Motrin box or inside label about SJS. The commercials on TV don't mention the side effects either. If only I had known.
When Mackenzie was well enough to come home, I researched SJS online and cried even more, thinking how close my daughter came to dying. I read that a two-year-old boy died another child is permanently blind. Nobody should have to go through this with a young child."