CHARLIE’S CLOSE CALL Two years ago, Chalke and her fiancé Jamie Afifi endured a parent’s worst nightmare when their son Charlie, then barely 12 months old, came down with Kawasaki Disease, a difficult-to-diagnose ailment that inflames blood vessels throughout a child’s body and regularly confounds caregivers. “You present with all these symptoms, you get a lot of repeated misdiagnoses, you keep getting sent home [by doctors]…,” the actress shares with TVLine. “We had a really hard time getting him diagnosed.”
Adding to the real-life drama: The rub with Kawasaki Disease (or KD) is that there is a narrow, approximately 10-day window to get treatment, via a 12-hour blood transfusion. Miss that window and about 1 in 4 patients, who are usually age 5 and younger, develop heart disease involving the coronary arteries.
“We fought really hard to see a specialist, but got the treatment on Day 10-1/2,” Chalke relates. “It was on the late side, but thank God Charlie is OK.” Coming out of that harrowing experience, “We thought, ‘What can we do to help other parents and kids not have to go through what we went through? What about an episode on a medical show?’”