Sarah Chalke made a guest star appearance on "Grey's Anatomy" on March 28 as a mother whose child has Kawasaki's disease. She later revealed that she experienced the same thing as her own child suffered from the same disease two years ago.
Sarah began to notice there was something wrong with her then-1-year-old son, Charlie, and got "a lot of repeated misdiagnoses." She spent ten days searching on the internet and found out that it was Kawasaki's disease, a life-threatening illness that causes inflammation in a child's blood vessels.
"It's a very visual disease," Chalke explained. "It's a high fever, and then everything because of inflammation goes red. So it's red, bloodshot eyes, red lips, red rash and red hands and feet, and then the last telltale sign is the skin on the fingers peels back. It was absolutely the hardest thing I've ever been through, and there's nothing in the world like not knowing if your kid is going to be OK."
"There is a treatment, but basically you only have a 10-day window to get it," Chalke continued. "If you don't get that, there's so much inflammation in the body that the danger is that you can get aneurysms because there can be damage to the coronary arteries, and then the kid will have a heart attack."
After her son recovered, Chalke began seeking out ways to raise parents' awareness, including appearing on "Grey's Anatomy". In the latest episode of the ABC medical series, she played a mother of a child who fights for his life when he develops Kawasaki disease.
"As an actor, you're usually like, 'Will I be able to cry when I'm supposed to cry?' But this is more like, 'Will I be able to stop crying when I have to stop crying?' " Chalke shared.