SAN ANTONIO — Don't send your children to school sick.
That's a plea from doctors and a San Antonio mother after her 6-year-old with severe asthma was put on life support, having also caught the common cold. He's been in the hospital for about two weeks and is now in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio.
On the second day of school, Logan Joubert came home with a cough. That was two Fridays ago.
"Sunday morning he woke up and he wasn't OK," said Logan's mother, Lauren Douglas.
Logan's family took him to the emergency room at the hospital. He could breathe in, but couldn't exhale.
His doctors say the common cold triggered his severe asthma.
"Carbon dioxide built up and he had to be put on life support and a ventilator to keep him going. It was the hardest thing I think I've ever been through in my life," said Douglas. "He's never been intubated. He was never on a ventilator. He had COVID in May and he didn't even get to this point. It's so scary that a cold did this."
Logan has been in intensive care before when he was sick, but this time is different.
In a rare occurrence, his doctors used an ECMO machine to give his lungs rest until they recovered.
"We were all literally staring into his room making sure he was OK and we were all tearful that he is actually doing really, really well," said Dr. Niveditha Balakumar, Logan's pediatric critical care doctor.
Balakumar was pleased to report the young boy is now off both life support and the ventilator.
But when it comes to if other asthmatic children could face a similar struggle with the common cold, Balakumar said there's no way to be certain.
"You never know," she said. "You never know who will get sick and how sick they will get. With some kids, it may just be runny nose and fever. And some kids, like Logan."
As Logan keeps up the fight, his family has a message for others: COVID may be subsiding, but there are still immunocompromised people in our community.
"Don't come to school sick, teachers. Don't send your children to school sick, parents. Employers, don't punish your workers for taking care of their sick children," said Logan's grandmother, Dekieshea Benton, who is staying at the Ronald McDonald House with his parents.
"Some people aren't cut out to be able to handle illnesses and germs like other people," Douglas added. "It's not just a cold for my son. It may not be just a cold for someone else's child... my son couldn't fight a cold. He was on life support and I could have very well lost him."
Logan's family is grateful for the care they're receiving at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio. His father, Joseph Joubert, says the staff treats his son like one of their own.
"Even when they're not on Logan's shift, they'd come back to check on him," Joseph Joubert said. "They'd come back to see how he's doing."
Doctors say they're seeing an uptick in children coming to the hospital with asthma complications. There are also more children coming down with the common cold.
"(Logan) was infected with Rhino enterovirus," said Balakumar. "We are seeing a slight uptick in that particular virus right now... probably temporarily related to school opening."
If your child has asthma and has trouble breathing, doctors warn not to self-medicate at home. Balakumar says to make sure your asthma action plan is updated. If you don't have one, she recommends consulting with your child's pediatrician as soon as possible.
With the medications little Logan is taking, he's not quite back to himself yet. His mother can't wait for her exciting, sweet, smart and strong boy to heal.
Logan's doctors can't wait, either.
"In the coming weeks, coming days I really hope we will see the Logan that we all know back again," Balakumar said.
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