Order amid Chaos

Jill Kovacs
The Kovacs Story

Our Family Life

Our family life at that time can only be described as blessed. My husband made decent money, which I supplemented with income from a childcare business. We had a beautiful home, one we moved to from Pine Lake Park, when I was one month pregnant with Jill. We owned a camper and spent many vacations just enjoying being together and growing as a family.

In May of 1989 life changed forever, with the start of a very small, and at the time, very insignificant fever with Jill. We were on our first camping trip of the season, to Cape May. Jan was 15, Jessica 6, Jill 4yrs and 10 months, Julie almost 3, and Jackie just 3 months. Jill woke up to a low grade fever. I, being an experienced mom, didn't take her temperature, I just sent her father for Tylenol. We had a new stroller for the 2 youngest, but Jill seemed awfully tired, so we 'strapped' Jaclyn on us, and Julie shared the stroller with Jill. The next day the fever passed as silently as it came. 6 days later, on a Friday night, Jill was lying on the sofa with another low-grade fever. I think at that time a shot of puzzlement went through my brain, but again, I just treated Jill with Tylenol, and again, the fever abated the next day. The following Sunday, Jill came down with yet a 3rd fever. This time genuine alarm went through me, as this made 3 unexplained fevers in Jill in a 15 day period. Jill also had a sudden weight loss that initially I attributed to a growth spurt, but too soon realized it was not that. This fever was different. It was still low grade, but Jill was more wiped out by it. She was lethargic, listless, pale, and had dark dark circles under her eyes. I now know that Jill had death in her, and it was this appearance that she gave, one of death. Jill also had pains in her legs. I knew that evening, something was desperately wrong. Call it mother's intuition, call it whatever you would like, I knew something was wrong. On Monday, Jill still had the fever upon waking. This time it lasted 3 days, rather than just one. I took Jill to the doctor that morning. I am sure, based on my knowledge of today and the conversation that took place during that visit with my pediatrician, that the doctor knew exactly what was wrong with Jill, but did not want to say without proof. He suggested possibly lime's disease, given our history of camping. But he sent me for blood work that afternoon. I was told a week for results.