The Family of a Four-Year-Old Boy Discusses Juvenile Disorder: PFAPA

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Even with round after round of antibiotics, a two-year-old patient kept spiking really high fevers.

After two years battling fevers as high as 104 and undergoing surgery, the now four-year-old boy is back to being a kid. 

Mother Linn Schroder says, “Right on the nose, you could just kind of mark your calendar. He was going to get sick again in about ten weeks.”

Linn’s son Alex Schroder was diagnosed with Periodic Fever Adenitis Pharyngitis Aphthous Ulcer. 

PFAPA syndrome is known for recurrent fevers. It also causes a sore throat, mouth sores and the swelling of glands in your neck.

And the disease is more common than doctors originally thought.

Alex’s doctor, ENT Specialist Kyle Johnson says, “When school starts again, we’re going to get a bunch of colds. When they come home for summer, there’s a period where they get a break. Where as these kids with PFAPA will tend to have, no matter what they do, every three or four weeks they’ll get these fevers and these symptoms.”

Dr. Johnson told the Schroders they could wait until Alex outgrew it, which would likely happen when he’s between seven and ten years old.

Linn adds, “I had this little two-year-old in my lap thinking ‘no way, I can’t wait that long.'”

Or Alex could have his tonsils surgically removed. 

Dr. Johnson explains, ” [A] tonsillectomy will most of the time completely resolve this.”

And Alex’s surgery was a success.

His mom says nowadays he is happier, healthier and plays more than ever before.

She urges other parents, “When you know something is wrong with your child, to keep pushing and to keep trying to not settle for what seems like the obvious answer. Because sometimes there are hidden answers you need to find.”

Dr. Johnson assured me that Alex shouldn’t experience any lingering effects. 

He says once the disease is gone, it doesn’t tend to come back.

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