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Family affected by Kawasaki Disease encourages families to learn more

Julie Muenchow and her husband, Stephen (formerly of Silver Lake), encourage families to learn more about Kawasaki disease after their own son, Gavin, was diagnosed in 2016.
The fourth annual National Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day took place on Thursday, Jan. 26.
Kawasaki Disease is a serious illness characterized by inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body that primarily affects young children and infants. It is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children. If it is not caught in the first 10 days, it can damage the heart by dilating the coronary arteries, causing aneurysms or heart attacks. Approximately 80 percent of patients are under 5 years of age.
Julie Muenchow says that Gavin’s case was considered atypical, since he was only 6 weeks old when he got sick.
The Muenchows first brought Gavin to the hospital when he developed a high fever. He was soon admitted to the hospital and his parents were told that it would be a minimum of a two-night stay.
With Gavin’s high fever, he struggled to eat and was eventually given a feeding tube for breast milk.
“It took constant rocking and shushing to get him to sleep,” stated Muenchow in her story.
For more about the Muenchows' experience with getting a diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease for their son, see the Jan. 31 print edition of The Chronicle.