“It’s been traumatic on the whole family” mother describes her son’s fight with MIS-C

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Some covid long haulers are left dealing with symptoms for weeks, or even months, following the Covid-19 infection. But there’s another condition being diagnosed by doctors- and it’s affecting children.

MIS-C is the name of this rare condition and while the cause of it is unknown, more and more children are exhibiting the symptoms. Doctors are finding that most children who are being diagnosed with MIS-C have previously had the COVID-19 virus leading them to believe that there may be a link. 

“We learned in the first covid surge that this phenomenon was developing. It’s an immunologic reaction of some sort that’s a bit similar to something we have known for a long time like Kawasaki disease but it is distinct in a few ways. We’re learning more about it as every day goes by,” says Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, Chief of Hospital Medicine at Erlanger Children’s Hospital. 

MIS-C can result in inflammation of certain body parts, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, skin, brain, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. 

Some of the symptoms include high fever, a rash, red eyes and lips, and even stomach pains. Doctors say that for most children, symptoms typically develop 2-4 weeks after having had the covid-19 virus. 

10-year-old Elijah Berestecky was one of those children. 

 “It was a mild case of covid. He recovered and got his energy back. He went for two days and then it was that weekend after Labor Day weekend that he started with a high-grade fever,” says Sarah Berestecky, Elijah’s Mother. 

After two weeks of pediatrician and emergency room visits, Elijah was finally diagnosed with MIS-C 

5 out of 8 of Elijah’s organ systems were impacted by MIS-C.

“This has been nothing short of traumatic for my family. Seeing your kid there in the emergency room with so much pain, not being able to talk because of the pain, his eyes swollen. You just feel so helpless as a parent to see your kid suffering so badly,” says Berestecky.

After several days in the hospital and receiving a round of Antibody infusions and steroids Elijah is on the mend- but his mother feels that this is the consequence of the lack of mitigation strategies within the schools this year.

“He’s really only gone to school for 14 days out of all the days they have been there since school started because of covid and catching it and now with this. I know a lot of people say they want kids in the school building – we all want kids in the school building. But when our kids are no longer safe health-wise and when they are affected they can’t go back to school. There’s not really a backup plan for a kid like mine,” says Berestecky

Dr. Bennett says they are seeing an increase in MIS-C hospitalizations locally.

Until the Pfizer covid vaccine is approved for kids, Sarah Berestecky wants other parents to be aware of the signs.

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Categories: Chattanooga, COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News