PARKTON, N.C. (WNCN) – A central North Carolina mother is warning other parents about a rare but serious complication of COVID-19.
The complication of COVID-19 can affect children weeks after they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus, and it landed her 2-year-old son in intensive care.
The state health department says North Carolina has had 88 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, better known as MIS-C.
Da’Raille Marshmon recalls the week her son spent in the hospital with MIS-C.
“I prayed; I cried, and I prayed and cried some more,” Marshmon said.
She could do little else, but try to comfort her son as doctors treated him for the inflammatory syndrome which can affect multiple organs.
“I had no idea there was even such thing as MIS-C. I had no idea,” said Marshmon.
The rest of the family came down with COVID-19 at the beginning of January, but Graiden appeared unaffected.
Weeks later, he developed a sudden fever above 103 degrees.
Marshmon says doctors prescribed fever reducers and then antibiotics, but Graiden kept getting worse. She says she took him to the emergency room multiple times over the course of three days for severe abdominal pain, then a rash, before he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and doctors diagnosed MIS-C.
“His body was so inflamed to the point of when I touched him he would say, ‘Mommy, you’re hurting me’,” Marshmon said.
She says he spent time in the pediatric intensive care unit and needed high-flow oxygen because he had trouble breathing.
After nearly a week in the hospital, Graiden got to go home. This time, the tears were joyful.
“I cried from the hospital all the way to my house because I didn’t know if I was going to bring him home,” recalled Marshmon.
According to the CDC at least 2,060 children across the country have been diagnosed with MIS-C. Thirty have died. Most children recover with treatment.
Graiden’s family doesn’t know if he’ll face long term effects.
“He does have inflammation in his right coronary artery,” Marshmon said, adding that he will follow-up with a cardiologist.
For now, the family is just grateful the little boy is smiling and playing, and they hope their experience might help someone else.
“What I would say to parents is ‘beware of a fever’,” said Marshmon. “Listen to your children. If they tell you they have any pain listen to them.”
MIS-C is extremely rare, affecting 88 children in the whole state. However, if your child has tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to coronavirus, doctors say it’s a good idea to watch out for any unusual symptoms over the next several weeks.
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, symptoms of MIS-C generally include persistent fever and any of the following:
- Irritability or decreased activity
- Abdominal pain without another explanation
- Conjunctivitis (red or pink eyes)
- Poor feeding
- Red, cracked lips or red, bumpy tongue that looks like a strawberry
- Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red
For more information about MIS-C click here.