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Hart mom describes son's battle with MIS-C

Posted at 9:41 AM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 09:41:18-05

HART, Mich. — Helen Devos Children’s Hospital is seeing more MIS-C cases in West Michigan than it's seen in this entire pandemic.

Zekara Palmer, a Hart, Michigan mom, saw first-hand what can happen if a child is infected.

“He was an active, healthy 11-year-old boy,” Palmer said. “He could have had a heart attack at 11 years old.”

Theo was 11 years old and nearly on his deathbed. The culprit? MIS-C or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. It’s a disorder that can develop after a child is infected with COVID-19.

“The most feared consequence of having MIS-C is actually that the heart does not function appropriately and the blood pressure can drop to life-threatening levels, Helen Devos Children’s Hospital pediatric infectious diseases specialist Dr. Rosemary Olivero said.

Dr. Olivero says symptoms of MIS-C sometimes don’t show up two to six weeks after a COVID infection.

Palmer says Theo’s initial symptoms came out of the blue.

“His body just broke out in this rash head to toe, starting in his torso, and just kind of spread he had a fever, '' Palmer said. “And then he would wake up randomly with bloody noses and he was just really tired.

The nosebleeds wouldn’t let up, and Palmer knew something wasn’t right. She initially took him to doctors who decided it was Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, but she knew it was something more. She got a second opinion and it was MIS-C. It wasn’t long before Theo was rushed to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital.

Theo spent 12 days in the hospital getting numerous different trial treatments to try and get his body to respond.

“Even after he had finished all of the medications, all of the steroids his body just was not ready to heal,” Palmer said.

His battle may not be over. Theo has an MRI this week to see what damage was done to his heart from the inflammation brought on by MIS-C.

Helen Devos Children’s Hospital is now seeing 4-5 cases of MIS-C a week in kids. Doctors say the best thing parents can do is to watch for symptoms because it’s best to catch it early.

Doctors say vaccinations are very effective at not only decreasing the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 but also for preventing MIS-C.