Dylan Dreyer reveals sons admitted to ER with RSV

Dylan Dreyer reveals sons admitted to ER with RSV

Dylan Dreyer is grateful that on the other hand after Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) affected her family.

Talking to PEOPLE about your experience, Today co-host, 31, revealed that sons Russell “Rusty” James, 13 months, and Oliver George, 2, both had to be taken to the emergency room after contracting a respiratory virus.

Dreyer explains that son Calvin Bradley, 5, “may have had it first,” adding, “He had some cold and cough, and then Ollie got it.”

Her family’s experience began on the Thursday before Halloween when Oliver had an unusual incident in swimming class.

“He kind of jumped off the side and inhaled a lot of water,” she recalls. “I didn’t really think anything of it, but when he started coughing, that was the whole thing.”

That night, Dreyer followed Oliver while he “had this weird cough and was breathing weird.” Becoming concerned about secondary drowning after a bit of research, Dreyer was relieved when Oliver woke up the next morning and said, “He was fine. No fever, nothing.”

The next night, things changed when Oliver developed “a really bad cough and a fever of 103.”

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Dylan Dreyer/Instagram

Still believing it was related to the bathing incident, Dreyer decided to take the child to the emergency room on the Friday night before Halloween.

“They were listening to his lungs while trying to bring his temperature down and ended up testing him for literally everything,” she says. “And it tested positive for RSV.”

Dreyer admits she “wasn’t sure I would have brought him to the ER if it hadn’t been for his incident at the pool,” but she’s ultimately happy because, “he was breathing really, really weird and kind of struggling a little bit.”

The morning show host took Oliver back to the doctor on Tuesday because the toddler still had a temperature of 102 and learned that it “turned into an ear infection for him.”

Dreyer and husband Brian Fichera suspected son Rusty, 13 months, would be the next to get the virus, which was a concern because “he was prime minister, so he has lung problems.”

“I was trying to keep Ollie away from the other two so we could have Ollie and our bed. And I just wanted to listen to his breathing and I had my hand over his heart all night,” she shares.

Dylan Dreyer/Instagram

Dreyer noted that the virus “eventually got to Rusty.”

“With him, it seemed like he was struggling to breathe. He was wheezing, like every breath he had was like this whistling in his chest and the poor guy ended up with a temperature of 102.”

When Fichera brought Rusty in and discovered he also tested positive for RSV, the father of three took him home, only to pick Rusty up a few days later and learn he’d also ended up with an ear infection — besides needing an “inhaler, yes open his lungs a little.”

It was a difficult experience for the family to overcome, especially since all three boys shared a room. Dealing with two of their three children being sick was challenging when “one kid woke up the other kid coughing,” admitting that “they were all kind of awake and not sleeping” in their New York apartment.

“Because it’s a virus, there’s not much you can do about it. You just have to struggle for a few days, and it’s so sad. You just feel so bad about it and you just feel so helpless,” she adds.

Dylan Dreyer.
Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Although she was concerned when she saw that the inhaler was “not working” on Rusty, the doctor explained to her that the treatment’s ineffectiveness meant “his lungs are not right” and that “the virus is running.”

Dreyer also shared some of the symptoms doctors told her to watch for after taking each of the boys home from the ER

“Watch for blue lips. Make sure their ribs don’t retract. Check for breathing problems and put them in a steam shower. Give them Motrin to bring down their fever. Make sure they stay hydrated,” though he admits that because of “these little things” parents can “feel helpless”.

Through it all, Dreyer found that “the number one thing is to keep them hydrated.”

“It was almost like I was glad they got an ear infection so I could give them antibiotics,” she says—noting that they were prescribed “some weird antibiotic” because of fears that “our pharmacy wouldn’t have [amoxicillin] because every child is currently on antibiotics.”

“And at least I feel like they’re taking turns to feel better because they’ve both really gotten better,” she added.

dylan dreyer/ instagram

Dreyer encourages moms to trust the fact that “you know your child better than anyone else.”

“If they just seem out of it, like Ollie has just been out of it, like he’s staring off into space, go to the doctor or the ER if it’s the middle of the night,” she says.

“What’s the worst that can happen? The doctors say, ‘oh, it’s fine, just go home and deal with it.’ It’s like, OK, great. As long as you have peace of mind, it just takes some of the fear out of it, as a parent, because we don’t know what we’re doing,” adds Dreyer.

As for parents, the mom of three says you have to “find patience” and know that at a time of year when viruses like this are circulating, “we’re all in this together.”

“There’s going to be some restless nights. You’re awake listening to the monitor or sleeping with them and listening to them, breathing all night long,” she says, noting that the goal is to “just make them comfortable.”

Thankfully, both her boys have recovered and Oliver is back at school and “happy as can be”.


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