"I kept my hand on his heart the whole night"
Dylan Dreyer is recalling her family’s scary run-in with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
The 31-year-old “TODAY” co-host opened up to People about her experience dealing with RSV when her sons Russell “Rusty” James, 13 months, and Oliver George, 2, were rushed to the emergency room after contracting the virus.
The television personality shared that she believes her eldest son Calvin Bradley, 5, “might have had it” first. “He had kind of like a cold, and a cough and then Ollie got it,” she remembered.
Dreyer began noticing symptoms after Oliver exhibited some unusual behavior during his swim lesson. “He kind of jumped off the side and he inhaled a lot of water,” she said. “I didn’t really think anything of it but once he started coughing, it was a whole thing.”
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After monitoring Oliver’s symptoms, she noticed he “had this weird cough and he was breathing weird.” The weather correspondent became worried that Oliver could potentially drown if he were to hit the water for a second time after doing some research.
Though Oliver woke up with “no fever, [or] anything,” he developed “this really bad cough and a 103 fever” the next evening. He was then taken to the emergency room where “they listened to lungs as they tried to get his fever down and they ended up testing him for like, literally everything, and it came back positive for RSV.”
Dreyer admitted that she was “not sure I would have brought him into the E.R. if it wasn’t for his pool incident,” but is glad she did after his fever persisted and he developed an ear infection. “He was breathing, really, really weird and kind of struggling a little bit,” she said.
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She and her husband Brian Fichera tried to take precautions when they suspected that Rusty would be next to catch the bug.
“I was trying to keep Ollie away from the other two, so we would have Ollie and our bed. And I just wanted to listen to his breathing and I kept my hand on his heart the whole night,” she said.
Despite their efforts, the virus “eventually made its way to Rusty.” When Rusty was born “he was a premie, so he’s got lung concerns as it is.”
She continued, “With him, he seemed like he was struggling to breathe. He was wheezing, like every exhale he had like this whistle in his chest and the poor thing ended up with a 102 fever.”
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“Because it’s a virus, there’s not much you can do about it. You just have to go through the motions for a few days, and it’s so sad. You just feel so bad for him and it just feels so helpless,” Dreyer confessed.
She recalled staying alert to “watch for their lips turning blue. Make sure their ribs aren’t pulling. Make sure they’re not struggling to breathe, and put them in a steam shower. Give them Motrin to keep their fever down. Make sure they stay hydrated.”
Dylan gave some advice to other parents during cold and flu season, and shared that you have to “find the patience” in caring for your kids, adding “we’re all in this together.”
“There’s gonna be a few restless nights. You’re up listening to the monitor or sleeping with them and listening to them, breathe all night,” she said the primary goal is to “just keep them comfortable.”
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