MUSKEGON, Mich. — When 8-year-old Karson Camp and his two younger siblings got COVID-19, their mom, Amber Vallejo, figured their journey with the disease ended at the same time as their quarantine.
Diagnosed with COVID on Dec. 4, 2020, Karson was completely asymptomatic. Amber got all her kids tested after their daycare provider tested positive.
Christmas Eve, he started getting sick. Amber says Karson was tired, had a fever and was throwing up.
Four days later, the fever wasn't going down, and Karson developed a rash.
"That’s when I said, we’re going to take you to DeVos,” Amber Vallejo said.
Amber says she's glad she made that choice.
“By the time we got there, I didn’t notice anything different with him. But when we got to the hospital, his O2 stats were in the 80s,” Vallejo said.
Dangerously low oxygen numbers meant Karson was admitted to the hospital. A recent COVID diagnosis lead doctors to evaluate him for MIS-C.
MIS-C is a dangerous post-COVID inflammatory disease that causes a child's body to attack healthy functioning organs. It's an immune response that can be life-threatening.
“He couldn't even pick out a cartoon on TV that he wanted to watch,” Vallejo said.
Not long after doctors told Amber they suspected Karson had MIS-C, he was placed on a ventilator. For five days Amber watched her son unable to breathe on his own.
She says that's why she's sharing her family's story.
"I never understood COVID could do this," Vallejo said.
She says all parents should look out for symptoms of their kids having MIS-C: stomach pain, watery diarrhea, a sunburn-like rash, and fever.
“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, until my son’s life was plugged into the wall,” Vallejo said.
SEE MORE: CORONAVIRUS IN WEST MICHIGAN