Australia: In a heartbreaking incident, a five-year-old girl named Cathy Kassis lost her life to a bacterial infection that was initially misdiagnosed as a common cold. The infection turned out to be Strep A, a type of bacteria known to cause conditions like sore throats, scarlet fever, and skin sores. Tragically, by the time Cathy was correctly diagnosed, it was too late, and her body had already gone into failure.
Cathy’s stepfather, Justin Sutton, shared their harrowing ordeal with 7 News. He and Cathy’s mother, Jasmine Worobez, had been concerned about her illness right from the beginning, and their worries grew as her condition worsened. Despite their concerns, doctors assured them that it was a viral infection and advised them not to be overly worried.
Justin Sutton recalled, “After three days, she had lost her voice completely, so we were obviously a bit concerned.” However, medical professionals continued to believe it was a viral infection that would resolve on its own.
As Cathy’s health continued to deteriorate, she struggled to breathe, prompting her parents to rush her to the hospital. Sutton described her breathing difficulties, saying, “She wasn’t breathing properly … it was almost like an asthma attack or what it’s like to watch someone with emphysema trying to breathe.”
Tests for COVID-19 and RSV came back negative, and the hospital again diagnosed her with a viral infection, sending her home. A few days later, Cathy’s lips turned blue, and her mother called for an ambulance. In a dire situation, Cathy lost consciousness and collapsed in her mother’s arms. Justin Sutton performed CPR while on the phone with emergency services for approximately 15 minutes, and when paramedics arrived, they took over while he prepared a defibrillator.
Despite their efforts, Cathy was airlifted to Westmead Children’s Hospital, where she was tragically pronounced dead. The coroner later determined that the cause of death was Strep A, a diagnosis that could have been treated with a simple course of antibiotics.
Mr Sutton informed that he is proud of his daughter for donating her organs a few days later. “She donated three organs, and all three recipients are now expected to make a full recovery,” he said.
The family is now raising about Strep A, “It could’ve been treated with just a normal course of antibiotics,” Sutton lamented, emphasizing the importance of trusting one’s instincts when something doesn’t feel right.