On Sienna Duffield’s second birthday, a family member gave her a congratulatory kiss on the cheek. But little did anyone know that that one kiss would lead to months of pain. And just one day later, Sienna’s face looked like someone had thrown acid at it.
The kiss was soon forgotten and it would be a full eight months before doctors realized the cause of Sienna’s terrible blisters.
“It started to look like someone had thrown acid over her face, it spread from her mouth to her cheeks, and above her eyes,” Sienna’s mother told Inside Edition. And this was just the beginning of a long nightmare. Sienna’s awful rash wouldn’t go away and her doctors didn’t know what to do.
For eight months, the two-year-old suffered through life with the terrible rash.
The blisters on Sienna’s face bled when they broke. Her mother said that it was like her daughter was being eaten alive her infection.
Sienna’s clothes were covered in blood and she had difficulty eating because of pain around her mouth.
hardly dared take her out because strangers stared and made nasty comments.
At first, doctors thought that Sienna’s rash was due to eczema or allergies, but none of the medications they gave her had any effect. In the end, Sienna had to be hospitalized. She could no longer eat and had to be fed though an IV drip.
Desperate to find the cause of her daughter’s infection, Sienna’s mom went over the days before Sienna became ill in her mind. And it was only then, eight months after the outbreak, that she remembered Sienna getting a kiss from a relative—a relative who, it turns out, had herpes.
To find out if your kids qualify for CHIP, go to the Medicaid CHIP website and answer the questions under “Can I Get It?”.
Once doctors knew that Sienna had come into contact with herpes simplex virus 1, they were finally able to give Sienna the right treatment.
The little girls skin healed and she was able to eat again.
“For the past few months, Sienna’s face has looked amazing and the infection has not returned. There is always a chance of it coming back, but fingers crossed it won’t happen and her skin will stay as good as it is now,” Sienna’s mother said.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Sienna’s infection doesn’t return in the future!
Now, Sienna’s mother is warning other parents not to let strangers kiss their children. Even if people don’t have visible signs of herpes, they can be carriers of the virus, and we need to protect our small children from coming into contact with the it.
We’ve previously reported on Claire Henderson, whose infant daughter was almost lost her life after being infected with oral herpes through a kiss.
The younger children are, the more dangerous the virus can be to them. Help share this reminder with all of the parents of young children you know.
- Understand your alternatives to buying individual health insurance
The cheapest purchase you’ll ever make is the one you don’t make. It’s entirely possible that you don’t have to buy individual health insurance at all. Depending on which state you live in and what your income is, you might qualify for Medicaid. You can contact your nearest Medicaid office, or go to Healthcare.gov to determine if you’re eligible (see step three below for the latter route).
If you have children, there are a couple of avenues to explore. First, many states have expanded coverage for children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). To find out if your kids qualify for CHIP, go to the Medicaid CHIP website and answer the questions under “Can I Get It?”.
Second, check to see if your children might be eligible under their other parent’s coverage. Even if you’re divorced, if your former spouse has employer-provided health insurance, your children could possibly be included under their coverage.
- Know what you need and can afford
Assuming that step one doesn’t apply to you, the most important step in finding cheap health insurance is to determine exactly what you need in terms of coverage and what you can afford. If you buy more coverage than you need, you’ll spend more than you need to. And as to knowing what you can afford, you can’t spend money that you don’t have.
Under the Affordable Care Act, every individual health insurance plan must cover 10 essential health benefits. These benefits are:
- Outpatient care (doesn’t require admission to a hospital)
- Emergency room visits
- Inpatient care in a hospital
- Care before and after your baby is born
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Prescription drugs
- Services/devices to help you recover from an injury or deal with a disability or chronic condition (including physical and occupational therapy)
- Lab tests
- Preventive services
- Dental care and vision care for kids
While that might seem like a pretty comprehensive list, different health insurers can vary on exactly how they cover these benefits. Think through any specific needs you might have.
- Go to Healthcare.gov
Perhaps the easiest step of all is to go to the Healthcare.gov websiteand complete an application. It’s easy, that is, if you’re doing so during an open enrollment period (the next one starts on Nov. 1) or if you have a qualifying life change. These life changes include getting married, having a baby, or losing other coverage. The website, by the way, will help you find out if you have had a life change that qualifies.