Krista McNallyJul 7, 2017, 9:02 pmJul 8, 2017, 7:42 am

Patient celebrates 15th birthday with medical staff that saved his life

Devon O’Rourke was taken to Nassau University Medical Center after waking up with skin disorder


LEVITTOWN — Friday was Devon O’Rourke’s 15th birthday and this birthday was extra special because he celebrated with the hospital that saved his life.

"He woke up Sunday, couldn't breathe, he had spots all over his body." said Devon’s mother Eileen, describing the day he woke up with a life-threatening disorder. He had blisters and skin peeling covering 95 percent of his body. In a panic, she called an ambulance.

"When they came the EMT said right away we have to take him to Nassau University Medical Center," Eileen continued. She couldn't understand why they would travel from Levittown to Nassau University Medical Center.

"’Why there? Why would you pick this hospital?’ And he said because they have the best pediatrics, I said ’okay let’s go’"

He was immediately placed in the burn center for the skin condition. The doctor diagnosed him with toxic epidermal necrolysis, which is a potentially life-threatening dermatologic disorder. They believe it was triggered by a common acne medication.

"Whenever you’re taking a medication, as Devon’s mom did, look out for something that’s coming up as a side effect, in this case it was soars inside his mouth," said Dr. Louis Riina, head plastic surgeon at NUMC

After spending over a month in the hospital receiving treatment he is now completely healed.

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Oyster Bay, New York