LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A 4-year-old boy in Arkansas who was hospitalized for COVID-19 is now battling much more.
Ollie Rodgers was tested for COVID-19 on Jan. 8 after running a high fever. His mother, Whitney Rodgers, said two days later, he was admitted to the hospital and his results came back positive later that night.
“It’s been a long week, and it is only halfway over,” said Rodgers. “We were told it’s not a standard case. It’s a severe case.”
She later found out that it was more than the coronavirus. Ollie was suffering from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which doctors say is a serious condition in some children who become exposed to COVID-19.
“It can be very scary for families when it happens,” said Jessica Snowden, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Rodgers said shortly after Christmas, Ollie developed a fever that would come and go. She said he was taken to the emergency room after he became unresponsive.
“He basically went from a somewhat lively sick child to he couldn’t speak properly,” recalled Rodgers. “He could just groan.”
Rodgers said Ollie sleeps most of the day in his hospital bed and isn’t awake for longer than 15 minutes. Sensors hooked up to his forehead monitor potential seizures.
She said doctors are treating her son with oxygen, heart medication and a feeding tube.
“They said, we aren’t sure this is the only thing he’s got and that it’s just the traditional COVID. That’s when they brought up MIS-C,” recalled Rodgers.
Snowden said the syndrome can cause a rash, inflamed organs, neurological issues and the potential for long-term heart problems.
“If your child has an unexplained fever and other symptoms where we can’t put our finger on any of the usual childhood explanations for this, you should talk to your doctor,” said Snowden.
Rodgers said she worries about the long-term effects.
“He was full of life — full of life. I’m hoping for even just a portion of it at this point,” said Rodgers.
Snowden said the hospital has treated 18 minors for MIS-C and expect to see more cases as COVID-19 continues to spread.