LIMA — Living paycheck to paycheck, Don and Teresa and their two young boys, Danny and Ronny, were barely getting by.
But when 6-year-old Danny fell victim in October to a rare medical condition that almost claimed his life, the family immediately fell into dire financial straights.
Both Danny and 4-year-old Ronny have developmental disabilities, putting a strain on the family that few can know. Don draws Social Security disability and works two days a week outside the home, while Teresa works part-time at a low-wage job. Money has always been tight.
Their lives changed in late October when Danny began to experience welts on his body. His skin began to peel, but a doctor initially said it was simply “a virus that’s going around,” Teresa recalls.
When blisters started to form around Danny’s eyes and other parts of his body, he was taken to a local emergency room. Physicians there also could not identify what was causing Danny’s skin to blister. He was given high-powered antibiotics, but those also failed to halt the symptoms.
It was yet another medical expert who correctly diagnosed Danny’s ailment as staph scalding skin syndrome. That physician ordered the young boy care-flighted to Children’s Hospital in Columbus immediately. Danny spent the next 11 days in excruciating pain with symptoms similar to third-degree burns over his entire body.
Danny is now on the mend but must be monitored closely for the next year for reoccurring symptoms of the disease.
“He’s a tough little kid. There were a lot of angels looking over him,” Teresa said.
But now, as the Christmas season approaches, the family is feeling the effects of time missed from work by both Teresa and Don. The only income for the past months has been Don’s monthly disability payment.
Teresa said Ronny needs pants in size 5T, shirts in size 5 and shoes in size 12. Danny wears size 6 pants, size 7-8 shoes and size 1 boys shoes. Both boys must wear elastic waistband pants. Wanted toys include a play guitar for Ronny and a remote control car for Danny. The family as a whole needs comforters and sheets for their beds.
“And our freezer is not working properly. If somebody could fix if for us, that would be wonderful,” Teresa said.