Austen Sve Austen Jo

First post: May 22, 2021 Latest post: May 22, 2021
Welcome to Austen's CaringBridge site. We are using this to keep family and friends updated in one place. So many people love this little girl and are praying for a speedy recovery! We appreciate all your prayers and words of encouragement. 

Austen Jo Sve is our spunky little 6-year old who has been fighting for her life the last few days. If anyone is as tough as nails, it's this girl.

We started noticing some changes in Austen's behavior and sleep habits about 1 week ago. She had no appetite and was extremely tired. We chalked it up to lots of time outdoors and a busy school schedule (it's rough being in Kindergarten). She also has lots of digestive issues that make her not eat much so these things weren’t super out of the ordinary. Then on Tuesday, May 18th we went to put the girls in the bath and Austen began to cry as I undressed her. I noticed parts of her skin were peeling off, just like they do with a really bad sunburn. She was scared to get into the water for fear it would hurt. I then noticed her armpits and neck were very hot and inflamed. I wondered where she could have gotten such an intense sunburn when she never had her shirt off outside. Plus, who gets sunburnt in their armpits?

We knew something was wrong and took her immediately to the ER. After a few hours of labs and tests, everything came back normal and the Doctors and nurses were stumped on what could be happening. We were told to go home, rest, and give her Benedryl for the next few days to see if she improved. She most definitely did not improve. The next morning we noticed more patches of skin peeling off and her armpits had gotten so swollen she couldn't lift her arms.  So again we loaded her up and took her to Essentia Health in Duluth.

When her pediatrician took a look at her he was shocked. At this point, 24 hours later, she had drastically worsened; skin peeling off in large patches and an immense amount of burning pain. We wondered if it was MIS-C; an inflammatory response to COVID-19. Our Pediatrician called the Peds ICU and the Doctor on duty said to get her admitted ASAP.

Although still stumped, Dr. Olsen believes she has Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS). SSSS is an illness characterized by red blistering skin that looks like a burn or scald, hence its name staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. SSSS is caused by the release of two exotoxins ( epidermolytic toxins A and B) from toxins released by the Staph bacteria. We like to call those Germ Farts 🦠💨

Staph bacteria (staphylococcus aureus) are normally found on the skin or in the nose of about one-third of the population. They assume Austen's little body began making too much Staph Bacteria and it entered her bloodstream through a scrape or cut. With an over run of bacteria in her system she couldn’t fight it off and was quickly turning septic. She had way to many germ farts in her blood to keep up (that’s what we like to call the toxin the Staph releases - Germ Farts 🦠 💨).

This is a very aggressive type of staph that spreads quickly and will wreak havoc on ones body. This girl has showed us what it means to be tough!

We have a long road ahead of us as the bacteria effects different parts of her body each day. We appreciate all the well wishes, thoughts and prayers!

If you’d like to send pictures or show some love to Austen, we are at Essentia Health Pediatric Hospital in room 8119.