Facebook used to save the life of a child

Sometimes Facebook is more than just a billion dollar timewaster. Every once and a while it can be used for something more important than narcissism.

According to MedicalXpress, Facebook was recently used to help save the life of a child.


On Mother’s Day Deborah Copaken Kogan woke up and saw that her 4-year old son Leo was sick with a rash. She uploaded a picture of her son as a status update on Facebook. She had no idea that the common social networking behavior would save her son’s life.


Leo’s doctor thought that he had strep at first, so he started treating him for it. But the next morning Leo was worse and the doctor changed his diagnosis, saying that he had scarlet fever. After she got back from the trip to the doctor she posted a picture of Leo’s swelling.


Her phone began ringing shortly after posting the picture; the caller told her that she needed to take Leo to the hospital immediately. The woman who called was her friend Stephanie. A few years earlier her son was put in the hospital with a rare disease known as Kawasaki disease. Stephanie was convinced that he had the same disease. A little bit later Kogan’s cousin, a pediatric cardiologist, called with the same opinion.


Kogan hurried to the hospital with her son, he would end up spending the next three weeks in treatment for Kawasaki disease and liver complications.


The National Institutes of Health says that Kawasaki disease is a rare disease that occurs in children. It causes blood vessel walls in the body to become inflamed.  It also causes symptoms like a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, a rash, cracked lips, swollen tongue, swollen palms and feet and redness in the eyes.


The disease is not contagious and with proper medication most children are able to fully recover. The beginning of treatment begins with the use of high doses of intravenous gamma globulin. The ailment can cause problems such as aneurysms and heart attacks if left untreated.


Doctors told Kogan that Leo will be have get echocardiograms annually to monitor his heart for any signs of damage. Some people hate Facebook (like Google), but this is a situation where posting information to a list of friends helped save the life of a child.