(Republicaninformer.com)- Jake Tapper’s 15-year-old daughter revealed that she nearly died last year from a ruptured appendix, which was misdiagnosed for days as her skin turned green.
Alice Paul Tapper’s CNN op-ed describes a surprising problem.
She wrote that she was hospitalized with stomach pains around Thanksgiving last year, but doctors immediately told her it wasn’t appendicitis, a condition in which the appendix becomes inflamed and filled with fluid, causing severe pain.
Alice said the doctors ruled out appendicitis because her pain was spread throughout her abdomen rather than on her right side. They suspected a viral infection.
Jake and Jennifer Tapper said the doctors refused sonograms and antibiotics because they were “not needed” and did “more harm than good.”
As days passed, Alice’s pain worsened, and her skin turned pale green, prompting her mother, Jennifer, to tell CNN’s Sanjay Gupta that she thought Alice was dying.
Jake Tapper spoke to the hospital’s administrator and got her an x-ray showing a perforated appendix leaking bacteria into Alice’s organs.
To remove bacteria, the 15-year-old had drains inserted, which caused hypovolemic shock. It was her “scariest night.”
She recovered, but cramps and “uncomfortable drains” kept her in the hospital for a week after leaving the ICU. She had an appendectomy at Jake Tapper’s hometown hospital in Philadelphia 12 weeks later.
Jake Tapper said appendicitis doesn’t always present a standard way. “This specific misdiagnosis happens too often and sometimes too far more tragic results,” he said.
“Despite being the most common surgical emergency in children, appendicitis can be missed in 15% of children at initial presentation,” Alice wrote in her op-ed.
Research shows up to half of the appendicitis patients may not exhibit the classic signs.
Alice cited Elspeth Moore, a five-year-old English girl who died from similar issues.
“I wish it had never happened to me, but it was a very important learning experience,” she said. I want other kids to advocate for themselves.
Alice’s parents met during the 2004 presidential election while her dad covered politics for ABC’s Washington Bureau.
When they married, Alice’s mother, Jennifer Brown, was Planned Parenthood’s regional manager in Washington, DC, recruiting, educating, and organizing supporters.
She consults for non-profits and serves on Population Action International’s board, which promotes global family planning and reproductive health care through research. The Tapper family lives in DC.