A 27-year old father from Nottingham, Britain, was banned from seeing his son for two weeks after suffering from a herpes rash that could have killed his newborn son.
Tom Greenhalgh developed the rash as his wife, Kerry, went into labor after being overdue for two weeks. Greenhalgh, who said that he has a sensitive skin and also suffers from eczema, revealed that he believed he contracted the virus through nervous scratching as he waited for the birth of his son, picking up the virus from someplace like a door handle and transferring it to a raw patch on his body.
While he was fine when his son, Austin, was born, he woke up a few hours later to find that his neck was inflamed and covered with rashes, which quickly spread to his chest, face and hairline. He tried to treat himself with his eczema cream but when sores filled with clear liquid started to appear and there was no improvement, he went to his GP, who was unable to treat him with an extra-strong cream.
Greenhalgh then went to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham two days later where the hospital's dermatology specialists diagnosed his condition as eczema herpeticum and gave him antibiotics and antivirals and a cream to protect his eyes as he could become blind if the rash spread to his eyes. He was also asked not to be in contact with his son for at least two weeks as the condition was so contagious that it could have killed him.
However just a week after Austin was born, he started to display the same rash and Kerry quickly took him to the A&E at the Royal Derby Hospital where the doctors prescribed same treatment and managed to treat him before the rash had a chance to develop fully.
"I saw Austin being born and then went home at 6am and when I woke up the rash had started. I couldn't see him for another two weeks then or even go near him. I wasn't banned from seeing Kerry at the same time, but she wasn't going to go anywhere without Austin so I didn't see her for two weeks too. She kept in touch with texts and picture messages, but it wasn't the same as being there. It was such a relief when I was finally allowed to go home and see him and hold him", Greenhalgh said.