Obviously the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a massive wrecking ball into the normal lives the majority of us were living prior to 2020. We’ve adapted as best as we can in the last few months, as uncomfortable and/or painful as it has often been.
We’ve purchased the hand sanitizer and face masks. We’ve quarantined. We’ve social distanced. We’ve worked from home in many cases, and endured the hell that is virtual learning with our children.
As parents, it’s been heartbreaking to watch our children grapple with the reality that much of their “normal” no longer applies. We want to keep our kids as healthy (physically, of course, but also mentally & emotionally) as we can.
And that’s why this story is so vital.
It’s not about politics. It’s not about promoting a “side”, or intentionally scaring anyone into action. It’s about awareness, period.
While we all may be fatigued by the influx of coronavirus-related information that comes at us, there are certain stories we absolutely NEED to hear, especially when it concerns the health of children.
One family is sharing their daughter’s terrifying experience with a post-Covid condition known as MIS-C in the hopes that ALL parents will be aware of what symptoms to look for.
We typically hear that children tend to be asymptomatic after contracting Covid, or have mild symptoms. While that is generally true, there are some children that develop symptoms weeks after “recovering” from Covid.
And they are symptoms that can escalate quickly into a life-threatening situation.
Dad Andrew Maurer knows all too well just how quickly MIS-C (Multisystem inflammatory syndrome) can lead to an emergency situation; his 7-year-old daughter Grace nearly died from it in November, & he wants ALL parents to know about this new condition.
MIS-C can develop after a case of (usually asymptomatic) Covid.
The latent effects of the virus wreak havoc on the child’s immune system, causing numerous body organs to become inflamed.. or to shut down completely.
When Grace Maurer of Herriman, Utah, developed a fever that would not break and labored breathing, parents Andrew & Caitlin were naturally concerned about the possibility of Covid-19 being the culprit.
But despite three trips to the pediatrician, a negative Covid test, and a few different diagnoses (ranging from kidney infection to urinary tract infection), Grace’s condition continued to worsen.
As Caitlin explained when interviewed by ABC4,
She was so completely out of it. If you would barely touch her, she would scream in pain. And then her eyes starting bulging. That’s when I knew hey — we need to go.
ER doctors discovered that although Grace currently did not have Covid-19, she had an asymptomatic case of it prior. Test results revealed that she was now suffering from MIS-C as a result.
At that point Grace -a healthy child with no underlying conditions- was now experiencing heart swelling, kidney impairment, and severe pain. She was placed in the ICU, and spent 10 harrowing days in the hospital before her condition improved.
This was obviously a terrifying experience for her parents. But that’s exactly why the Maurers want their story shared.
Since MIS-C is still relatively new, they want to make sure parents know to look for the possibility, even if their child has never appeared to have Covid-19.
Kids get sick all the time, and we can’t panic at every sniffle or fever. But by being aware of MIS-C, we can be sure to consider it as a possibility if our child feels worse & worse.
The common symptoms of MIS-C: fever, abdominal pain, bloodshot eyes, vomiting, and/or a body rash.
(Does it mean your child has MIS-C if he/she has these symptoms? In most cases, no. But good to know in this age of Covid, just in case!)
In fact, a body rash is one of the tell-tale symptoms of MIS-C. But one major point that Andrew wants to stress is that not all kids that have MIS-C develop any kind of rash at all:
They are saying “well if your kid doesn’t have a rash, it can’t be MIS-C.” This is the scary part. That’s not true.
Andrew wants parents to know that while it’s important to follow up with your child’s pediatrician, be sure that they fully rule out MIS-C, even if your child has not been diagnosed with Covid-19.
If their kid has a fever that won’t break, if they have a rash, headache, body aches, bloodshot eyes, etc. take them into the Ped.
BUT don’t let them rule out MIS-C right away. Request that they do blood work.
What’s important to remember is that the Maurer’s desire to share Grace’s experience is NOT for the sake of fear-mongering, or for stirring up unnecessary panic. Many children will never experience MIS-C, but knowing about it can save the life of a child that does experience it.
While MIS-C is still rare, it’s still so important to be aware of the possibility, even if slight:
They are saying that MIS-C is rare, which relatively speaking, it is. Grace (my daughter) was the 1,288th case nationwide.
The problem is, the more Covid numbers rise, the more MIS-C cases we are going to see.
We’re still learning how this virus affects the human body, and there’s still some uncertainty about the prolonged effects of it. And while we parents can’t live in constant fear of this virus, we can stay informed as best we can.
If there’s one thing the Maurer family wants fellow parents to know, it’s this: kids DO occasionally get very sick from Covid-19. While many are asymptomatic, there’s still a risk of the virus damaging a child’s system(s), even weeks after via MIS-C.
Even if the risk of MIS-C is currently small, it’s vital for parents (and physicians) to be aware of the signs. The Maurer family hopes that by sharing their traumatic story, other families will be equipped with the awareness needed should it arise.
You can see their original story with ABC4 Utah here.