Today host Karl Stefanovic reveals his daughter Harper, two, was rushed to hospital after struggling to breathe with a ’40°C temperature and 200bpm heart rate’: ‘We’re very lucky it wasn’t more serious’
Today host Karl Stefanovic has revealed he was left ‘panicked’ and ‘feeling guilty’ after his daughter Harper, two, was rushed to hospital earlier this week.
The 47-year-old explained on Friday how his daughter had ‘the sniffles and a small cough’ on Wednesday, which led to him and wife Jasmine, 38, taking her to the GP.
But her condition soon deteriorated, with her temperature reaching a dangerous 40°C and her heart rate racing to 200bpm.
Today host Karl Stefanovic has revealed he was left ‘panicked’ and ‘feeling guilty’ after his daughter Harper, two, was rushed to hospital earlier this week
She was then rushed to hospital in an ambulance and diagnosed with a respiratory syncytial virus, which are common in children in the winter months.
‘Two days ago, my daughter Harper had what’s she had so many times this year, a sniffle and a small cough,’ Karl told Today show viewers.
‘Within a few hours we gave her Nurofen and Panadol like advised and put her down for a sleep.
‘When she woke up she was breathing really quickly, wheezing, and her heart rate and temperature were through the roof.’
The 47-year-old explained on Friday how his daughter (right) had ‘the sniffles and a small cough’ on Wednesday, which led to him and wife Jasmine, 38, (centre) taking her to the GP
Karl went on to explain that things quickly went from bad to worse, with little Harper eventually ending up in hospital.
‘So we took her to our GP who was brilliant,’ he said.
‘But within a couple of minutes her condition deteriorated, her temperature was more than 40 [degrees] and her heartbeat was climbing over 200bpm. We were really worried.’
The breakfast TV anchor explained how the ‘incredible’ GP was able to stabilise her with a nebuliser and called an ambulance.
Karl is seen here with Jasmine and Harper, plus his teenage daughter Willow, at Vivid Sydney
‘From the ambulance, the ambulance officers were incredible,’ he continued.
‘At North Shore Hospital, more doctors worked on her and she was admitted after several hours to emergency.
‘They did an incredible job and the hospital staff were unbelievable.’
Karl said he was sharing his family’s ordeal to show solidarity with the ‘thousands of parents in similar situations’ during the winter flu season.
Karl also spoke to Associate Professor Margie Danchin (pictured), a paediatrician at Royal Children’s Hospital, who explained parents are ‘really dealing with it’ at the moment
‘We were lucky, and we are lucky, that it wasn’t more serious. But this is a shared situation that’s why we’re doing it,’ he added.
‘The thing is you just panic when doctors start moving fast you panic.
‘We felt guilty. We should have taken her straight to the hospital, we took her to the GP first.’
Karl also spoke to Associate Professor Margie Danchin, a paediatrician at Royal Children’s Hospital, who explained parents are ‘really dealing with it’ at the moment.
‘This is unfortunately a similar story,’ Professor Danchin said.
‘After the last two years with Covid being so scary, we’ve seen a huge increase in viral respiratory conditions.
‘In the last month or so we’ve seen an increase in RSVs – parents are really dealing with it. We don’t want parents going to the emergency department either.
‘Our emergency departments are really overwhelmed.’
Professor Danchin said that if a child shows increased breathing, blueness around the lips, or if they’re listless and pale, parents should take them to the emergency department.
Jasmine is seen carrying little Harper before a boat ride on Sydney Harbour earlier this month
Karl and Jasmine welcomed Harper, their first child together, in 2020.
The Channel Nine star has three older children with his ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn: sons River, 15, and Jackson, 22, and daughter Willow, 16.
Karl met the model-turned-shoe designer at a boat party in Sydney just months after his separation from Cassandra in 2016.
The Stefanovics married at the One&Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, in December 2018.
In an interview with Stellar magazine in October 2020, Jasmine described Karl’s parenting style as ‘very hands-on’, adding that he ‘helps a lot’
The warning signs of RSV
Respiratory syncytial virus (known as RSV) causes an infection called Bronchiolitis. The infection is spread between people by coughing and sneezing.
The infection starts with cold symptoms (runny nose, cough, sneezing and fever). Warning signs include:
* Fast or laboured breathing
* Wheezing sound when breathing out
* Trouble feeding (for babies, this is because they only breathe through their nose).
Symptoms are often worse at night. Illness usually starts to improve after two to three days.
Infection may be worse and last for longer in very young children (under three months), premature babies or children with lung or heart problems.
No medicine can be taken to cure bronchiolitis.
Children’s paracetamol (in recommended doses) may help your child feel more comfortable if they have a fever.
Infants with a severe infection may be admitted to hospital. In hospital, treatment may include oxygen and fluids. Fluids are usually given through a nasogastric tube (a tube that goes into the nose).
Make sure your child is getting enough fluids. Smaller feeds given more often may help.
Salt water solution available from pharmacies (e.g. Fess) dropped or sprayed in each nostril before feeding may help clear the nose.
Keep your child away from cigarette smoke.
Prevent the spread of infection by keeping your child away from other small children especially for the first few days of illness.