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’Hug your babies’: local boy in ICU battling rare COVID-19 complication

PITTSBURGH — UPMC Children’s Hospital officials said they’re seeing a surge in cases of a rare inflammatory condition in children directly linked to COVID-19.

Raymone Thomas, a registered nurse, said her son started complaining about sore muscles.

“God forbid I had let him sleep one more night or gone to work the next day. I don’t know where we would be right now,” she said. “Hug your babies because you never know.”

Thomas said she didn’t think much of it since her son is a black belt and wrestles competitively.

“He texted me and said, ‘Mom, I’m shaking. My body is shaking’,” she said.

Within days his fever was up to 104 degrees, he couldn’t eat and had extreme fatigue. His primary care doctor did a flu and COVID-19 screening. Both turned up negative. Her son wasn’t getting better, so she took him to the hospital thinking he was dehydrated. Doctors diagnosed him with multi system inflammatory syndrome in children.

“This MIS-C is an inflammatory syndrome that occurs 4-6 weeks after you have an episode of COVID-19 infection in a child,” Dr. Michael Green said.

Thomas said she had no idea her son had COVID-19. He never showed any symptoms. Doctors worked quickly to treat his enlarged heart and his dangerously low blood pressure.

“While it’s intensive, they are using medications we use all the time for other conditions,” Green said. “We’ve had great success. All our kids have survived. Early treatment does lead to a good response.”

There have been 15 cases so far at Children’s Hospital. Both Thomas and Green want families to know that if your child is sick, call your pediatrician right away.

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