Baylee Littrell Diagnosed With Atypical Kawasaki Disease

12/22/2008 at 12:00 PM ET
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Update: Baylee Littrell was released from the hospital on Saturday, Brian and wife Leighanne share with fans. After his admittance, Baylee, 6, was initially “treated for or thought to have” strep throat, hand, foot, mouth disease and erythema multiforme. However, after numerous medical treatments and procedures — including a biopsy, blood tests, an EKG and two echocardiograms — Baylee was diagnosed with atypical Kawasaki Disease.

The Backstreet Boy and his wife, who write that they would “like to stress [atypical] because Baylee did not have text book symptoms of any of the viruses they thought he had,” explain that Kawasaki Disease causes inflammation in the coronary arteries, as well as the walls of the small and medium sized arteries throughout the body. “Unfortunately, Baylee’s coronary arteries were affected,” the couple revealed. “He received an IVIG, which is a treatment to bring down the inflammation in his coronary arteries. Baylee will be closely monitored for the next 6-8 weeks by a Pediatric Cardiologist to see if the treatment was effective.”

Thankful to friends, family and fans for their prayers, Brian, 33, notes, “We want to thank every one who prayed for us as well as all of the emails and phone calls. Your love and support means so much to our family … We are humbled by the love and compassion that people have for our son all over the world, thank you!”

Click below for the original post.

Originally posted December 19th: In a message posted to his official website yesterday, Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell revealed that his 6-year-old son Baylee Thomas Wylee has been hospitalized. “For those of you who do not know or have not heard, Baylee Littrell has been in the hospital for the past few days,” the 33-year-old singer writes.

“He will be starting a treatment this afternoon and the Littrell family asks that all Backstreet Boys fans please remember him in prayer during this trying time.”

Reminding that “every little prayer helps and every single prayer counts,” Brian and wife Leighanne, 39, go on to wish fans a Happy Holiday. No additional details on the nature of Baylee’s illness are provided, but Brian promises that more information “will follow.”

Baylee is the only child for the couple, who were married in 2000.


Thanks to CBB readers Kelley, Mary Beth, Erika, Monika, Rachel, Kelly and Aline.

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 39 comments

angela on

i will keep baylee in my prayers tonight. he and my godson are the same age.

Mandy on

I hope he gets better soon! Brian is still my favorite Backstreet Boy.

Prayers to the entire family!

Colleen on

My thoughts are with Brian and his family, and especially with little Bailey. I am thinking that Bailey’s condition might be quite serious and could have taken some testing to diagnose. All I can think of is one year ago when a close friend’s son went in the hospital for a few days and after testing, we found out he was battling leukemia. Treatment started about 3 days after he was admitted originally.

lilly on

So Sad, i hope its nothing to serious and i hope he gets better soon, such a sweet little boy. I hate to hear sad news during the holidays, specially kids.

A Mother on

In 2005 my then 23 month old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, and reading this story and about how this child will be starting “a treatment” has given me a sick feeling in my stomach. I pray that whatever it is that Baylee is ill with is something that can easily be treated, as well as being as painless as possible.

Mary on

A special Christmas rosary will be dedicated to that sweet little boy! ):

Rachel on

When I heard that he’d been hospitalized for several days and would be starting “treatment”, my mind, like some of the others here immediately went to something horrible (cancer being the number one). But having volunteered in a children’s hospital for many hours, I can say that there are a great number of illnesses and conditions that can land a child in the hospital in need of treatment.

My only hope is that what I’ve read (that they expect Baylee to make a “full recovery”) reigns true and that Brian, Leighanne and little B. can spend Christmas at home together… as it should be.

This must be a scary time for them, but Leighanne wrote today that they are “almost through the storm”, so it sounds like things are moving in the right direction. And that she will fill everyone in later.

My thoughts and prayers are definitely with them!

Anna on

I hope he gets better soon!

Amanda on

My thoughts and prayers go out to Brian and his family as
they deal with little Baylee’s illness.

We love you Brian,and all of your fans are praying hard for you and your family.

Lauren on

Oh, no. I truly hope this isn’t what I think it is, but when they said he’s in treatment, my first thought was that he has leukemia or some other form of cancer. I hope he heals quickly and can enjoy this Christmas with family and friends; he’s in my thoughts and prayers.

Lindy on

Oh no, thats terrible! I’m wondering if it has something to do with his heart… Brian was born with a Congenital Heart Defect and has had to have surgery on his heart. I wonder if that sort of thing is hereditary. I hope whatever it is gets sorted out quickly and he can get home healthy in time for Christmas.


I wonder if it has anything to do with his heart? His dad (Bryan) has a hole in his heart a congenital defect diagnosed when he was just 5yo. Baylee is about the same page…

I hope he gets better

ashley_anne on

my thoughts and prayers are with them. it’s sad news to hear, especially this time of year. i think we sometimes take for granted things like our health. this is a reminder to all of us just how lucky we are.

OC Mommie on

We’re praying for them……

Bobbi on

I love this family and it saddens me to hear they are battling through whatever they are with little Baylee. I still remember the PEOPLE shoot they did when Leighanne was pregnant and Brian was joking he had gained pregnancy weight also – they are a good couple with a strong bond … they’ll get through it, just like Brian got through his heart problems and seems to be on top of his game now. Get well soon, Baylee! =]

Triskie on

My thoughts and prayers are with Baylee and his family.

Tanya on

I don`t think Baylee has a heart defect because Brian has said once that he made sure his baby had a 4D scan of his heart while he was still unborn wich showed a healthy heart. And so like many of you I fear Baylees got cancer,leukemia maybe. I really hope that its less serious,but the comment about starting treatment..its a sign that something is terrible wrong with their little boy. I can just imagine how heartbroken and scared Brian and Leighanne must feel right now. And I want them to know that Baylee will be in my prayers.

Pogue Mahone on

Sounds like leukemia to me, esp. given the child’s age and in hospital a few days and starting a treatment soon….that’s how it was for our 10 year old 3 years ago when he had leukemia at age 7….it’s devastating and I sure hope it’s not that but it brings back chilling memories..They are in my prayers..

robin m. on

Very sad news. I hope their little boy is all right.

Heather on

The released a statement saying he was diagnosed with A-typical Kawasaki’s disease and was given IVIG treatment because it caused inflammation of Baylee’s coronary artery. I’m sure CBB can link to the full statement on Leighanne or Brian’s myspace.

Erika on

Heather – I’ve emailed the full statement about Baylee’s release and diagnosis to the Tips email and it should be posted soon.

Trisha on

I’ve never commented on this site but have been a faithful reader for years.

This story has compelled me to write as my son suffered from Kawasaki Disease last spring. Something I had never heard of before and wasn’t easy to diagnose. It can be scary but if caught early enough, is easily treatable and has no lasting effects. Baylee’s story sounds eerily identical to my son’s. It was diagnosed by process of elimination with other diseases and he also had an IVIG treatment and is still following up with pediatric cardiologists to ensure no lasting damage was done to his ateries.

I wish them all the best, they are a lovely family and I can understand what they have gone through, something I wouldn’t wish on any parent.

BriB on

I’m sorry to hear this. My son (11 mths) was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease in October. It has been a rollercoster, however, they say that there is a large chance it wont have any lasting damage. I really hope the same goes for their son. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

Kellie on

My prayers are with Baylee and his family.

It is a scary disease. My oldest daughter was dignosed and treated for Kawasaki in March of 98. She was near death. We were living in Germany at the time and she was in a German hospital. They kept saying they were going to treat her, but never did. Finally, after 9 days of 105+ temps and her getting worse, we asked she be transfered to Landstuhl. She was treated the next day, and remained in the hospital an additional 4 days to make sure all was well. After a month of asprin therapy, and many cardio visits, she was given a clean bill of health. She is now a healthy 14 yr old with no restrictions!

Nina on

This is so odd! My little brother, who is 5 1/2, was recently diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. His kidneys were failing and he was going into congestive heart failure. He’s doing much better now, but the doctors expect him to stay in the hospital over the Christmas holiday.

amy on

My son who is 4 years of age has also Been diagnosed with atypical kawasaki disease. My son was sick for roughly 6 to 8 weeks and it took most of that time before he was diagnosed. He has since had an echo performed at the start of this month and they have discovered one of his arteries has been effected. He also needs to be monitored for at least the next 3 months to see if the problem will resolve itself. I understand what brian and his family are going through and wish them all the best on a speedy recovery for his little boy

CC on

My son was diagnosed with Kawasaki’s on November 3rd of this year. He spent three days in the hospital and received the IVIG. As I understood it, once the diagnoses is made you will always be hospitalized, you will always get the IVIG and after and echocardiogram if there is inflammation of the arteries you will be put on aspirin therapy and monitored periodically for at least 1 year after the diagnoses.
My pediatrician did a phenomenal job of making the diagnoses. Since there is no test for Kawasaki’s you basically have to rule out a bunch of other illnesses before they will treat for it.

Also, there is some speculation that it could be related to carpet cleaning. There have been several studies but nothing conclusive. I would like to say however that I did spot clean the carpet in my son’s room 2 days before he started showing symptoms. Coincidence? Who knows. Anyone else whose child had Kawasaki have their carpets cleaned prior to the diagnoses?

Gina on

My little brother had Kawasaki’s about 15 years ago. He made a full recovery and is a totally healthy 23 year old now! I’m hoping Baylee has a speedy recovery!

CC, my mom had her carpets cleaned a few weeks before he got sick, she’s always said she thought that caused it!

AK on

My 8 yr old daughter was diagnosed at 2 yo. She had an atypical presentation of symptoms and it was missed by the pediatrician that was covering my daughter’s pediatrician for the holidays. She ended up missing the window for treatment for IVIG. We did a lot of nail biting through her EKG and echo. As it turns out her arteries are clean – although she is followed up every year by a pediatric cardiologist and has no restrictions at this time. She’s healthy and plays soccer competitively.

Mommyto1 on

My step brother had kawasaki’s disease when he was 2 years old. His father owns his own carpet cleaning company but when he cleaned his own house my step brother came down with it 2 days later….

He’s now 17 years old and fine, wrestles and plays baseball….

Hope Baylee makes a quick and full recovery.

Alana on

To all brave families who are facing this desease speedy recovery to you all!

Cezzie on

How awful that Brian’s son has to go through this, especially when Brian himself has had a history of problems with his own heart.

My thoughts are with them.


What are the symptoms? How do I know if my daughter has that?

God Bless Baylee, I will keep him and all children in my prayers!

Kellie on

Anyone else whose child had Kawasaki have their carpets cleaned prior to the diagnoses?

Nope. We didn’t have carpet. I have heard of this link though!

We were told by her team of doctors to get her into a study later in life, since, at the time, no one really knows how or if it affects anything later on. Her Pedi knows of this and will help when the time comes.

dawn on

oh my gosh! it’s sad but a tragedy always leads to something helpful to other people! I pray everything works out for the best for their son and their family.

Trisha on

We never had carpets cleaned before my son was diagnosed. In fact we have very little carpet in our house, most of it is laminate.

XOXO….symptoms at least for my son were high fever that lasted 8 days (he got his IVIG treatment on day 8 of the fever) and the whites of his eyes were dark red. He also complained of neck and joint aches. There are other symptoms but that’s what my son had. The doctor tested him for fifths disease, menigitis, scarlett fever and a few others I can’t remember. The only way to diagnose is process of elimination. The biggest thing is a fever that won’t go away. The important thing with this disease is to be treated within 10 days of a fever appearing.

Hope that helps! I’m amazed at all the families that have experienced this. My wishes go out to all of you that your little ones don’t experience any life-long side effects and a full recovery.

Jane on

Good information is on the kawasaki disease foundation website:

Did you all know that Kelly Preston and John Travolta’s son had Kawasaki Disease a few years ago? It is a fact they do not talk too much about but since awareness is key in preventing coronary (heart) damage all the celebrity help would save innocent childrens lives.

Jeni on

So glad Baylee’s doing better. I’ll be keeping them/him in my prayers that all stays well for them. He’s such an adorable little boy (who is SO much like his father), and they are such a lovely little family.

I second what you say Cezzie about Brian’s heart problems. When I first read about what this disease was and how it’s related to the heart, I couldn’t help but think about Brian’s heart problems.

FC on

Baylee’s a soldier going through all those tests, but I’m glad they finally found out what was ailing him. Wishing Baylee and the Littrell family nothing but the best during this time.