Hayley Minogue reports for WKRG, Feb. 2, 2018, that a 10-year-old Gulf Coast boy named Thelonious Ziegelschmid-Sylvester lost 100% of his skin after a one-in-a-million reaction to a common antibiotic.
The boys’ parents rushed him to the hospital and within hours they learned their son had an extreme case of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis.
Note: Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis is a severe skin reaction. Early symptoms include fever and flu-like symptoms. A few days later the skin, including mucous membranes such as the mouth, begins to blister and peel, forming painful raw areas. Complications include dehydration, sepsis, pneumonia, and multiple organ failure.
Tony Sylvester, Thelonious’ father, said: “It just kept getting worse and worse, literally right before our eyes you could see the blisters spreading. You could look at him… It was like growing, it was growing. You could look at him and then look back again and it had moved. There was more and more and more.”
During his four-month stay at Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas, on his darkest day, Thelonious saw a Jesus figure in his room, after which he began to recover.
Thelonious said he saw the figure with great clarity:
“After a while, I saw this man standing in the corner of the room in a white robe with a beard. White skin, brown beard, brown hair. He smiled at me and it was like I was back in my body. I thought it was really strange but . . . I just kept getting better from that point. It wouldn’t go better and then worse, better then worse. It would just get better after that.”
Asked if he thinks he had been visited by an angel or God, he answered, “That’s what I believe.”
Fr. Christopher Viscardi, priest and professor of Theology at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, said: “It’s an empirical evidence that reaffirms what we’ve always believed in faith about being human. There’s a deep spiritual dimension and we live not by bread alone that we also had this spiritual dimension in that we are made for the presence of God and God’s presence sometimes enters into our awareness in surprising ways.”
Asked if he truly believes Thelonious had been visited by Christ, Fr. Viscardi said: “Who knows? God is not just another little UFO. God is present in all things at all times. I truly believe God is with me right now, God is in the universe. God gives life, so there’s nothing different about this. I think people need something special to say this is God, well God is everywhere all the time.”
Thelonious still has trouble holding his head up because of muscle weakness. He is sensitive to light because the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome has left him legally blind. Scars on his legs serve as reminders he almost lost his life.
Thelonious’ parents want to spread the word about Stevens-Johnson Syndrome — that it can happen and it is devastating.
For more on Thelonious’ journey, click here.
To donate to his GoFundMe, click here.