No matter how healthy an individual is, some situations are just impossible to foresee. Bo, a 4-year-old from Worcester, woke up one day with mysterious bruises all over her legs. She developed these big black bruises from a rare condition called purpura fulminans, which unexpectedly came from chicken pox. One day she was completely healthy, the next day her parents were warned that her condition could lead to amputation or even death. Continue reading on to find out more about the condition and how it was treated.Bo’s family was shocked when she woke up one day with random bruises all over her legs. She was a 4-year-old from Great Britain who didn’t encounter any recent trauma, so what was really happening?
After her family rushed her to the hospital, the doctors diagnosed Bo with purpura fulminans. It’s a rare syndrome that causes gigantic black bruises from blood clots forming in vessels.
The condition is due to a lack of protein C in the body. When there’s a deficiency of protein C, the blood flow in the body starts to thicken.
It’s after the blood starts to turn solid that the blood clots begin forming. This was what was causing Bo’s sudden bruising.
A deficiency of protein C is usually caused from genetic issues. The condition was first discovered by doctors in 1981, making it relatively new.
It was probably discovered so late because of how rare it is. Only 0.5% of the population carries the genes that can potentially lead to a protein C deficiency.
And because it’s so rare, it’s very unnecessary for people to test their protein C. Doctors generally don’t even consider testing for it when treating their patients.
However, that is very unfortunate as purpura fulminans usually requires instant medical attention to successfully treat it.
If the condition is left untreated, it can result in skin necrosis and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The latter condition can ultimately be fatal.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation is when several blood clots form together, which limits the blood flow throughout the body.
This can cause damage to multiple vital organs which could result in eventual death.
Thankfully for Bo, the doctors caught the condition just in time to properly diagnose it and treat it.
Nonetheless, the doctors still had bad news to deliver to the parents. There was a high probability that Bo would have to amputate her legs.
The parents were left speechless after they received the news. They were so confused since their little girl was very healthy up to that point.
Amputation may be needed because the skin necrosis is caused by a condition that can end in gangrene. If Bo’s legs ever become gangrenous, she has no choice but to get them removed.
Bo’s case, in particular, was more rare than others since it was actually brought on by chicken pox.
This normally harmless infection was the exact opposite for Bo — causing an autoimmune disorder, which caused the body to stop making protein C.
Doctors have still yet to figure out how the chicken pox triggered such a response in Bo’s body. A team of physicians and researchers went to work to help figure out a way to make Bo’s blood flow more efficient.
As they worked, they knew that her life was in stake. Bo eventually went through three different skin grafts and had to stay in the hospital for three months to recover.
Luckily for Bo, she was able to keep her legs after all with all the medication and therapy she received!
During her treatment, she had to stay in a wheelchair. Ever since she completed her treatments, however, she has regained her ability to walk normally.
Bo’s parents are extremely grateful and appreciative that they were able to get their little girl back healthy and with both her legs intact.
Unfortunately, however, Bo’s underlying conditions that originally caused the purpura fulminans still exist in her body.
To ensure that these problems don’t return in the future, doctors will be monitoring Bo carefully.
After all the trauma she had to go through, hopefully Bo will now be able to live a healthy and normal life.