June 15, 2017 5:13 pm
Updated: June 16, 2017 5:06 pm

Healthy on Friday, dead on Monday: Parent warns of dangers of Strep A

WATCH ABOVE: Eight years after losing their six-year-old to a Streptococcus A. infection that was misdiagnosed as a cold, a Montreal family is speaking out. As Amanda Jelowicki reports, they’re hoping the Quebec College of Physicians will heed the warning signs and change its protocol when it comes to diagnosing the bacterial infection.

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There isn’t a room in Peter Rozmovits’ Montreal West home that doesn’t have photos of his beautiful boy, Alex Porter-Rozmovits.

In many ways, it’s comforting for Peter to have pictures everywhere.

“We look around the table and we all sit here and our (two other) children are here, and Alex is with us.”

He is with him, but only in Rozmovits’ heart, because Alex died eight years ago.

“Still today it’s just too much for anybody to handle losing a child. It’s just way too much.”

The tragic story of six-year-old Alex’s sudden death is something Rozmovits never wants another parent to suffer.

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On a sunny Friday evening at the end of June in 2009, Alex started feeling a little sick, had a slight fever.

Saturday, Rozmovits’ wife called their medical clinic.

They were told it was likely just a virus.

READ MORE: Why strep throat is causing serious complications, from amputations to death

Overnight Saturday the fever got worse, and Alex developed joint pain in his knee and wrist. He developed a rash on his stomach.

So Sunday morning his mother took him in to a medical clinic.

“I think the first suggestion by one of the doctor’s is it was likely a soccer injury. I think my wife asked specifically because of the symptoms should we go to an ER and it was suggested it would not be necessary at that time,” Rozmovits said.

Overnight he became listless.

His mother took him to the Children’s Hospital Monday morning, where doctors told her Alex was gravely ill.

He died a few hours later.

“It felt like a bottomless hole you are in and you can’t get out, and you almost don’t want to get out,” Rozmovits said.  “It’s like you feel like you deserve the pain or you need to suffer because we just lost Alex.”

Alex died from a dangerous bacterial strain of Strep A.

Quebec’s College of Physicians’s looked into Alex’s case.

READ MORE: Pitt Meadows mom, who will lose limbs due to strep infection, meets fellow survivor

The College told the family they would work towards establishing a better protocol in diagnosing Strep A.

But eight years later it still hasn’t happened.

“It’s really a race against time in these cases. This is not developing over weeks, we are talking hours. This was healthy Friday and not with us on Monday,” Rozmovits said.

In a statement, the College told Global News they will soon be reminding doctors to be cautious when dealing with Strep A.

Rozmovits said parents should also educate themselves.

“If for any reason a parent feels dismissed in any way, I encourage you to go back and push doubly hard or to seek another doctor’s advice,” he said.

Rozmovits hopes no one else experiences the turmoil he has.

He thinks of Alex every day, keeping his toys and soccer cleats always near him, dreaming of his boy who will never grow old.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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