Xander Cabales is on a mission to inspire others as the 2022 Children’s Miracle Network Champion for Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
When he was 7 years old, Xander came down with a fever and, by the next morning, his temperature spiked to 105 degrees. A severe rash began covering his body. Then, the skin around his eyes and mouth began to soften and shed, while his breathing became shallow. Doctors at Kapiolani diagnosed Xander with the life-threatening skin disorder Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and, later, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), a severe form of SJS that only affects about one in a million people each year.
Due to the infection, Xander lost 60% of his skin. He spent four weeks on life support in the Kapiolani Pediatric Intensive Care Unit before showing signs of responsiveness. His family attributes his miraculous recovery to the team of Kapiolani specialists who cared for their son, who is now 15 years old.
“Given the rarity of this disease and how severe it can be for children, this was the place to be,” said pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. David Young, who cared for Xander’s eyes and vision. “We were able to coordinate all the different specialties – infectious disease, ophthalmology and the nurses who specialize in children’s health – which is what the team at Kapiolani does on a regular basis for children in Hawaii.”