It starts out with a tummy ache or maybe a slight fever and the whisper, “Mommy, I do not feel well”. Hospitals worldwide are admitting Young patients for the mysterious Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children. Connecticut Children’s Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s National Hospital, Ochsner Hospital for Children and now Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital located in Valhalla. These hospitals have one thing in common. Parents who are sitting and watching their child hooked to wires and IVs, saying the same thing, “There’s nothing I can do.”
Over 1800 pediatric specialists convened on a zoom call to discuss the phenomenon, worldwide similar cases because effects are deleterious. The ages range from 5-year-old to 18-year-old. More than 20 states have reported several hundreds of children who were previously healthy children. Suddenly, they develop a fever, vomiting, rashes, abdominal pain, and nausea that can be signs of a more serious issue.
Juliet Daly is a 6th grader who was under the weather on the weekend in Covington, Louisiana. Juliet a healthy 12-year-old in Covington, La., until the coronavirus infected her heart, making its electrical signals go haywire and stop working.
Her parents shared that she had abdominal pains and was vomiting with a 101.5 fever. By Monday she felt better. As Parents we call this a tummy bug. Especially with her symptoms not being typical of the Coronavirus. On Monday Juliet started her stay-home daily routines. She rose at 7 am, ate Rice Krispies, and then met her class on zoom. Juliet shared that she was feeling unusually tired and kept falling asleep. She wasn’t alarmed until she went to the bathroom and noticed that her lips were bluish in color. When she arrived at the hospital her heart rate was 45 beats per minute. Which was alarmingly low because it should beat at 70-100 per minute. Juliet was in kind of a toxic shock because her heart which was inflamed was hardly beating. ‘Code Blue,’ was called twice for Juliet resulting in her being transferred via helicopter to New Orleans. This was on April 6.
Cases like Juliet’s, a puzzling inflammatory syndrome in children believed linked to covid-19, had been popping up in different parts of the world for months, but it wasn’t until recently that health authorities began tracking the phenomenon. Her parents share the same conversation as parents of Jorden Hutchins from Mount Vernon, New York.
On Thursday, May 14th Jorden had a tummy ache and 104.5 fever. His pediatrician was contacted and advised to begin Tylenol every four hours and plenty of fluids. Jorden’s parents watched him closely looking for signs of swelling of the hands or feet, shortness of breath, or a rash. If that occurred they would have rushed him to the emergency room. By Monday, Jorden was unable to breathe well and shared this with his mom. When Jorden and his parents arrived at Ochsner Hospital for Children in Valhalla, New York, his oxygen saturation was 91.
According to Tracey Dixon, physician assistant at The Arthur Tappan School, “A child’s oxygen saturation for an 8-year-old is normally 97-99 on room air.” He tested negative for Covid-19, but positive for the antibody. Beverly and Greg Hutchins expressed, “The Hospital Staff kept asking them about his health. He’s a healthy child.” By Thursday, May 21st Jorden had to have heart surgery because his blood was not flowing as it should. Facebook messages and prayers increased as updates were shared about Jorden.
Earlier in May, articles mentioned the characteristics being that of the Kawasaki disease which is a rare childhood illness. But, the results from the Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children is not an isolated issue and the results are bewildering. The rheumatologists, cardiologists, and critical-care doctors are astonished by the unusual timing of the Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children. This syndrome happens to have started three to four weeks after the big wave of adult sickness hitting hard with COVID-19. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s midday conversations on May 12th mentioned cases of the syndrome being investigated. Meanwhile the American Heart Association issued an alert last week, “Children are becoming very ill extremely quickly.”
A Westchester County boy also has died after coming down with an illness affecting dozens of children in New York State, in early May. The 7-year-old boy died late three-week-ago at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla. Dr. Michael Gewitz said he suffered neurological complications from what is now called pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also shared an update Friday, May 8th, announcing the death of a 5-year-old boy, who CBS2 later confirmed died at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital. Health officials said there have been 73 suspected cases of the illness statewide and investigators are doing a deep dive into the circumstances.
Juliet is currently at home recovering with a change in appetite for bacon other than her favorite glazed donut. She was discharged on four medications two for the heart, a blood thinner, and one for her pancreas. While Jorden is improving with a low-grade fever and the ventilator is assisting his breathing. His parents are by his side daily, giving updates and reading aloud children’s stories to him.
“This syndrome although new it’s pretty conclusive that this is COVID related,” Dr. Traci Gardner, medical director for Children’s Village shares with Black Westchester. “Every case was either COVID + prior, had antibiotic Or had confirmed exposure. The age for this is 0-21 years of age as of now.”
Black Westchester Magazine is urging parents to please seek an urgent evaluation from a pediatrician if you suspect your child may have the Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome.
Seek care immediately if a child has:
- Prolonged fever (more than 5 days)
- Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
- Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Change in skin color – becoming pale, patchy, and/or blue Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
- Racing heart or chest pain
- Decreased amount or frequency of urine Lethargy, irritability, or confusion
“So this is every parent’s nightmare, right? That your child may actually be affected by this virus. But it’s something we have to consider seriously now,” Gov. Cuomo said.