Written by Elizabeth Wigley, this first was a post made to social media. With her permission, it is republished here in an effort to share her son’s story with as many people as possible.
I think I’m ready to tell my story. This last week was the most traumatic time in my family’s life. I’m posting this to spread awareness about how dangerous COVID can be in an immunocompromised child. I pray this makes it to as many people as possible so my story can change the way people act toward this virus. For a healthy person, this could be a small as an upper respiratory infection, but to a child like Davey, this can be deadly. With that said, here is my story:
Two weeks ago, my baby had a febrile seizure in front of me. I rushed him to River Region, and my baby was diagnosed with COVID. I was terrified to say the least. Immediately, I treated him with pulmacort, albuterol, rynex, Tylenol and Motrin to treat the fever, and hours of cuddles. Soon, my older son and my husband came down with it. I am fully vaccinated and never got it. My older son only had a fever. That was it. My youngest, Davey…. Well, it got scary. He was incredibly sick.
Eight days later, he developed a rash, a horrible developing cough, and would pass out randomly. I had many appointments through telehealth with his doctors in Jackson at UMMC, and they all had eyes on him.
A few days later, his symptoms started evolving and he spiked another fever. I called his pediatrician in Vicksburg and made an appointment to see her. She treated for some inflammation in his lungs and we went home. It wasn’t a week later that my whole world turned upside down, and I realized I celebrated too quickly.
I noticed his belly was incredibly distended, hard, and he was very guarded. His rash was getting worse, he was lethargic, and he wasn’t eating or drinking. (He has a g-tube, so he was getting all his nutrients through that.) I called his G.I. specialist in Jackson, and she wanted me to rush him to UMMC immediately. I didn’t have anyone to watch my oldest, so I waited until my husband got home from work. When he did, I rushed to Jackson. I was in the Children’s ER at 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. We weren’t taken back until 9:00. When we finally seen the doctor, he was incredibly worried. Davey looked extremely sick. His bloodwork showed inflammation, which we already knew. However, the X-ray revealed something that I wasn’t prepared for.
COVID had shut down his colon. His dysmotility that he already had was made 10x worse. His erythromelalgia was triggered and came back with a vengeance. At 3:00 a.m., we were admitted and he was given 7,000 ml of laxative in a four day period. He had an IV, and swelled. He was close to a bowel perforation, and that could have killed him.
COVID can do very strange things to an immunocompromised child and people. Just because you will be okay, doesn’t mean my child, your neighbor, your mom or dad, or sister will be. If I didn’t know what to look for, this could have ended very badly. Please the next time you go out, remember about Davey. Think about wearing a mask to help protect those who could die from this. I know it’s ‘your body, your choice’ but when it comes to others lives, what’s more important? I can only do so much to protect my baby. It takes a village.