‘He could’ve died’: Beaumont 8-year-old hospitalized with rare inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19 in kids
A Beaumont family is relieved as their 8-year-old was released from the hospital Tuesday, after fighting a rare but potentially dangerous coronavirus-related condition that can affect children and teens.
Anthony Rodriguez Jr.’s parents tested positive for COVID-19 in early December, and he was also sick.
“It was very mild. He had very minor symptoms,” the boy’s father, Anthony Rodriguez Sr., said. “He fully recovered, all of us fully recovered. Five, six weeks later he started having fevers.”
The 8-year-old had bloodshot eyes, cracked lips and was extremely tired, his parents said. They took him to a pediatrician, and he then tested positive for COVID-19 and was sent home to quarantine.
After six days, Anthony Sr. says they thought, “OK, he’s getting better, but he was still tired and lethargic.”
The boy’s mom started researching COVID-related illnesses and came across Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C. The inflammatory reaction that results in MIS-C typically develops about two to four weeks after coronavirus exposure.
“We felt something was wrong at that point. We rushed him to the hospital,” Anthony Sr. said.
Their gut instinct was right. Anthony Jr. was rushed to emergency room just in time.
“He could’ve died,” his dad said. “They told us that basically that his body was in septic shock and that he was having heart failure. We were blown away. We thought he was getting better the day before. They told us MIS-C. “
The 8-year-old spent days in the intensive care unit, but his dad says the treatment helped and he’s expected to fully recover although it could take several months.
The parents say they’re grateful they discovered what turned out to be life-saving information.
“If we weren’t Googling that day, we would have never known what was wrong with him,” Anthony Sr. said. “We don’t want this happening to any other parent.”
They’re urging people to recognize the symptoms, which may include weakness, fatigue, a red rash, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and swollen hands or feet. Treatment can prevent long-term damage.
“It presents with very vague symptoms, often times its fever,” said Dr. Maulin Soneji of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. “But a lot of kids are coming with abdominal pain, diarrhea. In some of the kids it almost looks like appendicitis.”
As of Saturday, the total number of MIS-C cases in L.A. County reached 62, according to public health officials.