A toddler spent four days in hospital after catching herpes from a so-called ‘deadly kiss’.
Kalo Hoy’s parents noticed small red spots forming across his face, chest and arm last month.
His mother, Lorna Hoy, 27, from Salford, claims their fears were dismissed twice by doctors.
It wasn’t until their third attempt to seek medical advice that their concerns were actually taken seriously, she said.
Kalo tested positive for the herpes simplex virus – something doctors suggest he caught through kissing an infected adult.
The mother-of-four is now sharing her story to raise awareness for the virus, which, if not treated quickly, can be fatal in children.
Kalo has since made a full recovery after his time in hospital. It is unclear who may have passed the virus onto him.
Ms Hoy said: ‘Kissing children on their mouths and sharing cutlery is a common way to catch herpes, as it’s spread through saliva.’
The full-time mother added: ‘I never thought this would happen to our family.
‘Kalo had red spots all over this face, chest and arm before he was diagnosed with herpes.
‘He had ulcers in his mouth and needed injections in his eyes to ensure the infection hadn’t spread to them as this could’ve blinded him.
‘I have heard of babies dying from catching this virus which is awful and I think the only reason Kalo survived is because he was just under two at time.
‘I hope our story serves as a warning to other parents as it could happen to anyone.’
Kalo – who was admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester on January 12 – needed an intense course of IV antibiotics in a bid to rid him of the infection.
His father, Andy Griggs, 34, a bus driver, added: ‘Kalo had struggled to eat days before his diagnosis which was a real worry for us as parents.
‘But thanks to the amazing care of the doctors and nurses he began eating yogurts as he began to recover.
‘Lorna shared the pictures of Kalo via Facebook to raise awareness for the infection and it went viral.
‘We want to encourage people to research the virus and look into its causes to prevent their children from going through what Kalo did.’
The couple who have three other children, Jayden, eight, Kaci, six and Jenson, four, are now sharing Kalo’s shocking hospital photos, which show how quickly the herpes virus spread across his face, in a bid to raise awareness.
Ms Hoy said: ‘Since getting home has been getting along great and is finally back to his good self.
‘However, the scars have remained on his face from the sores he had while in hospital.
‘We would all like to say thanks to the staff who cared for Kalo in one way or another at Wythenshawe Hospital.
‘As a family never thought this would happen to us but we’re so lucky that Kalo pulled through after his treatment.
‘I hope through sharing our experiences of it that we prevent others from going through the same.’
Herpes can be very serious in newborns due to their immune systems not being strong enough to fight off the infection. Toddlers are less likely to face deadly complications.
Ms Hoy said: ‘If Kalo has caught herpes when he was a lot younger things could have been a lot different as it can be fatal in babies.
‘As he was a bit older and we caught it when we did, his body started to fight off the herpes once he had the antibiotics and anti-viral medication.’