‘She was literally on her death bed’: Rare syndrome impacts more children

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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A rare syndrome linked to COVID-19 continues to impact more children.

Multi Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C usually develops weeks after the exposure to coronavirus.

As of February, the CDC has reported more than 2,000 cases, compared to 600 in May of last year.

Six of those cases have been identified at Northwest Texas Hospital.

In November, Leah Forrest’s daughter tested positive with coronavirus.

“She only had symptoms for one night,” said Forrest.

Months after what seemed to be a mild case of COVID-19, she developed MIS-C.

“She woke up that morning running a fever,” said Forrest. “Complaining of her stomach hurting and chest pain.”

After almost a week of different diagnostics, 7-year-old Gracelyn was not getting better, but Forrest was persistent.

“At that time, I had asked three medical professionals by this time, do you think she has MIS-C and all of them were like, no we don’t, no we don’t, no we don’t,” said Forrest.

When Gracelyn finally arrived at the hospital, she was the fourth child with the syndrome.

“Her heart was only functioning at 30 percent, she was literally on her death bed, she was,” said Forrest.

Experts have seen back to back cases during the months of Fall and Winter.

“Loosely parallel to community transmission, so close when we were having spike in cases in the area,” said Dr. Raphael Mattamal, M.D. Texas Tech Physicians Pediatrician.

Doctors ask parents to watch out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, fatigue and difficulty breathing.

“We don’t want to alarm parents saying that if the child has a little bit of fever, a little bit of rash but is eating and drinking fine that they have MIS-C that’s not what we’re going for,” said Dr. Mattamal. “These children in general are very ill appearing. Low blood pressure, fatigued, very lethargic.”

According to the CDC, cases are more common in people of black and Hispanic descent and it typically affects more boys than girls.

When caught early, patients of MIS-C usually recover.

Forrest’s daughter was recently told she has fully recovered and just in time for her 8th birthday.

“So thankful at the seasoned nurses at Northwest,” said Forrest.

Although there haven’t been new cases reported during the month of February at Northwest, Dr. Mattamal says the team continues to be on high alert.

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