Coronavirus in children may lead to an inflammatory syndrome, following infection. Although rare, one mum – Hannah – had to face the reality of having her baby enter critical care.
Mum Hannah Godwin, 35, had spent the past seven weeks in isolation.
Her partner, Simon, and their daughter Gracie, nine, have a heart condition, so the family didn’t want to risk catching coronavirus.
Then baby Leia began to fall ill. On Saturday April 25, the five-month-old had a high temperature.
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Leia developed the symptoms of the illness similar to Kawasaki disease.
The symptoms of Kawasaki disease include a high temperature that lasts for five days or more and a rash.
And the illness is seen in children under the age of five.
When Leia had a rash on her body, Hannah promptly called NHS 111 – and she was told to bring her to hospital.
“When we got to out-of-hours, her temperature had spiked so she was referred to the children’s A&E,” Hannah recalled.
She continued: “First of all, they were really concerned with her temperature. They didn’t really know what the rash was.
“Then the senior doctor did a check over and found three or four tiny petechiae, which is the pin-prick rashes that don’t disappear under pressure.
“So they put her straight on antibiotics in case it was sepsis or meningitis.”
From there, the baby’s condition deteriorated. Leia’s temperature remained, the rash spread all over the body and she developed a chesty cough, tonsillitis and tachycardia.
Tachycardia is when the heart suddenly beats much faster than normal.
Moving to the high dependency unit, Leia had an antibody test to discover whether or not she had COVID-19 in the past.
By that point, coronavirus hadn’t even entered Hannah’s mind.
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In her eyes, she, Simon, Gracie, Leia and their other daughters Nia, 12, and baby twin Thea had been isolating for months.
But here she was, with her baby Leia in a high dependency unit, with doctors leaning towards a suspected diagnosis of inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19.
Hannah said: “They did an antibody test, which tested if she has ever had coronavirus, and it was the first result to come back positive.
“This meant, at some point in the past five months, she has had it but was asymptomatic.”
The antibody test confirmed Leia’s link with COVID-19 on May 6.
An echocardiogram revealed Leia’s heart is inflamed, with the artery on the right appearing to have an aneurysm.
She’s now receiving two injections of blood thinners a day to prevent clotting.
Still in hospital now, the family waits nervously, hoping their little girl gets better.
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