Amanda and Ed Bystran lost one of their twin boys to RSV less than three months after they were born, and they are now praying that their second son may survive from the same illness.
On August 15, Amanda Bystran gave birth to twins Brodie and Silas.
They couldn’t wait for them to show up. Her older kids were just so excited to have infants in the family, Amanda Bystran, who has four other kids, said. They were eager to meet and hold them. They were born on her 8-year-old’s birthday, she said.
The twins were born at 34 weeks prematurely and suffered from the start. They were released from a newborn critical care unit after two weeks and recovered from Covid-19 and meningitis in September, according to their mom.
The Bystrans thought their twins had recovered, but by mid-October, both had experienced congestion and coughing.
The frightened parents, who reside in Catlett, Virginia, brought them to their physician on October 17, where they tested negative for RSV and the flu and were informed their twins most likely had the common cold, Amanda explains.
They sent them home, however Brodie began to deteriorate dramatically about Thursday. He was really congested and was having difficulty passing mucus. It was unlike anything they’d ever seen before, Bystran remarked. He declined so rapidly. It seemed as though he was OK one minute and struggling for his life the next.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost all kids contract RSV before the age of two, but parents should be particularly careful if their kids are preemies, newborns, kids with weakened immune systems or neuromuscular disorders, or those under the age of two who have chronic lung and heart conditions.
On October 20, the Bystrans chose to take Brodie to Inova L.J. Murphy Children’s Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, an hour away from their house.
This time, Amanda claimed, a doctor informed her that Brodie had tested positive for RSV and would be admitted to the hospital. Brodie was transported to the pediatric surgery unit after the family waited 12 hours in the emergency room. According to Bystran, they waited 16 hours before transferring him to the pediatric intensive care unit.
They were completely filled. The whole pediatric ward was infected with RSV. It was terrifying, she recalled.
Tracy Connell, a representative for Inova Children’s Facility, said on Thursday that the hospital has been running at or near capacity for the previous few days. The hospital also issued a press statement stating that it had activated its “Internal Emergency Operations Plan” to assist in coping with the high number of patients with respiratory viruses such as RSV and influenza, yet guaranteed the public that it was prepared to handle the influx.
Bystran claims she followed her kid to the hospital for the most of his stay and watched as physicians attempted various oxygen treatments. On the morning of October 22, things worsened, and she requested extra assistance after observing that the oxygen treatments were not working and Brodie was still fighting to breathe, she claims.
They decided to intubate him, so she left so they could operate on him, Bystran explained. After 20 minutes, a nurse arrived to tell her that his heart rate had dropped and that they had been performing CPR on him for the past 10 minutes.
Bystran immediately requested that her husband and in-laws travel to the hospital, however they were unable to arrive before Brodie died, she claims.
Her heart has broken into a billion pieces. No mother should ever have to prepare a baby’s funeral. He ought to have outlived her. This boy was just three months old when he died. It’s not fair, Bystran stated on Facebook, sharing her sorrow.
The horror for Bystrans is far from over: Silas, Brodie’s twin, is still in the hospital recovering from RSV. He tested positive for RSV at the hospital on October 21 and was hospitalized the next day, according to Bystran. Silas, like Brodie, was diagnosed with pneumonia and spent around 16 hours in the intensive care unit, according to his mom.
Silas was moved out of the intensive care unit on Tuesday evening, however he got a fever overnight on Wednesday and required assistance to improve his oxygen levels, according to Bystran.
They had a pretty terrible night, and he’s back to his old ways. The doctors say RSV is like a rollercoaster, she explained. They are fine one minute and then rapidly degrade before stabilizing again.
His family is optimistic that he will survive, but they are heartbroken that he will not be able to grow up with his twin.
Brodie was such a bright light. A lovely tiny youngster. He was so desired and adored. It was very nice to watch his and Silas’ friendship, Bystran remarked. They liked to sleep together and were constantly caressing. It saddens her heart that she won’t be able to witness their development together. She is worried Silas will always sense this void without his identical brother.
As the Bystrans grieve their son’s death, they urge other parents to believe their intuition.
If one child’s condition worsens and it’s not simply a typical cold, take him or her to the hospital right away. Don’t think about it, don’t wait, don’t second-guess oneself, Bystran said.