Jake Tapper’s 15-year-old daughter, Alice Tapper, revealed she “almost died” from appendicitis last year after doctors misdiagnosed her.
Alice explained in a new op-ed for CNN that she was hospitalized after developing “severe abdominal pain” and a fever, so her parents asked about the possibility of appendicitis; however, because she was “tender all over” and not just on one side, doctors dismissed the possibility and concluded she had a viral infection.
“I got sicker and my skin started turning a pale green. As Monday turned into Tuesday, I was only given Tylenol for my pain,” Alice wrote. “My mom asked the doctors why I couldn’t get a sonogram to see what was happening inside my abdomen; they said it wasn’t needed. My dad asked why I couldn’t get antibiotics; the doctors said for a viral infection they could do more harm than good.
“My parents kept pushing for a gastroenterologist who might have more insight about my condition to evaluate me, but one never came.”
Alice said she began to feel “helpless” and “alarmed” by the “lack of recognition I received from the hospital.”
“I was not being heard; when I described to the doctors how much pain I was in, they responded with condescending looks,” she wrote.
The famous broadcaster ultimately pulled rank and called a hospital administrator and demanded any sort of imaging be done for his daughter. An ultrasound revealed she had a perforated appendix that was leaking toxic fluids into her internal organs, so she was rushed into emergency surgery.
“I had sepsis and we would later learn I was going into hypovolemic shock — which can cause organs to stop working. That night was the scariest night of my life,” she wrote, adding that after leaving the ICU she stayed in the hospital for an additional week “bedridden with uncomfortable drains” in her body.
“I could barely walk. I didn’t recognize the helpless, hunchbacked, green, exhausted girl I saw in the hospital mirror,” she continued.
Months later, Alice went to a different hospital for an appendectomy and her health since has “returned to normal.” The teenager came forward with her story to spread awareness of the high rates of appendicitis misdiagnosis and help those who “don’t have parents who can get the phone number of the hospital administrator.
I still can’t believe this happened to me,” she concluded, “and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”