-- After a young mother's rare reaction to her friend's medication on Thanksgiving caused her to "burn" from the inside out, she hadn't seen her baby in nearly a month.
But on Christmas, Yaasmeen Castanada got the best present of all: to be reunited with her 5-month-old daughter Chloe, who immediately recognized her mother and reached out to hold her hand.
Castanada this week had her breathing tube removed and was able to talk to Chloe.
"She called her name out," Castanada's mother, Laura Corona, told ABC News. "She told her she loved her."
Castanada has taken huge strides toward recovery since she was rushed to the hospital after taking her friend's medication and diagnosed with Steven-Johnson syndrome, a rare but serious drug reaction that can occur even when drugs are taken as prescribed by a doctor, said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatology professor at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan who was not involved in treating Castanada.
Shortly after Castanada, 19, took a friend's leftover antibiotic pill, her eyes, nose and throat began to burn. Soon, her face began to blister as well. Her mother said her daughter wasn’t feeling well and a friend offered her the antibiotic.
During Steven-Johnson syndrome, inflammation and blistering occur on the outer layer of skin as well as the lips, eyes and genitals, leaving the patient vulnerable to infection and unable to properly balance electrolytes and stay hydrated, Zeichner explained. As such, these patients are treated like burn victims.
"You're not truly burned, but what happens is you have compromised the skin barrier function," Zeichner added.
"You get very painful lesions on your skin that are basically blisters," said Neil MacKinnon, dean of the University of Cincinnati's Winkle College of Pharmacy. "Your whole body is in excruciating pain."
But Castanada is in much less pain than she was even a few weeks ago, her mother said. And seeing baby Chloe was the perfect motivator.
"She’s walking now," Corona said. "She just wants to hurry out and get better so she can get home to her baby."