Parents around the world are sharing their stories to raise awareness.
Jessica Randell is a member of the LCK USA support group run by Melissa Lynch from North Carolina. Here she shares her daughters story.
"My 15 year old daughter tested positive for COVID in early December, presenting with a headache and scratchy throat. I immediately had her tested and low and behold she was positive. We were shocked, we hadn’t gathered for Thanksgiving and significantly limited our risk for exposure since the onset of COVID. We will never know where she contracted it but a visit at the pediatricians for a physical or dance class with masks required are the likely culprits.
She fortunately did not require hospitalization or treatment. She isolated, slept, hydrated and took Tylenol. She never developed respiratory symptoms and seemed to be recovered within a week or so. We considered ourselves lucky - she didn’t develop a serious case and the rest of the family tested negative.
In January she tried returning to dance and school (hybrid). Prior to covid she danced competitively over 10 hours a week, ran track and exercised regularly. A healthy and fit teen. She was now a month later still fatigued and started having episodes of shortness of breath and heaviness/tingling in her legs with exercise. We thought she just needed a little more time to recover but the symptoms started occurring more frequently and seemed to be worsening.
We took her into the pediatricians office and immediately they removed her from participation in dance and exercise and sent her for an EKG, which was normal. She was also seen by cardiology, which resulted in more EKGs, a stress test, an echocardiogram and chest X-ray. All were within normal limits. She had significant amounts of blood work. Her free iron and vitamin D were a little low but still technically within normal ranges. She was eventually seen by a pediatric pulmonary specialist and Morgan was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma and vocal cord dysfunction.
She has been since working hard to recuperate and recover through a gradual return to exercise protocol, breathing exercises with a specialized PT and several new medications. Unfortunately she was dealt another set back and fractured her foot in May while practicing jumps for dance. This has put her recovery on hold at the moment. Only time will tell at this point, we hope that she will heal and recover.
We want to share this story and inform others that covid can have long term effects even with just a mild or asymptomatic case. We hope this story inspires others to get vaccinated.
We hope this rallies the medical community to develop clinics and research into long covid in children."
LongCovidKids.org is a patient-led advocacy and support group started by Sammie Mcfarland for families of children with Long Covid. Their story started with a short film on long-lasting symptoms of Covid in children.
If your child experiences any symptoms that indicates they are unwell, it COULD be COVID-19, and you should get them a test to help identify if it is a current Covid infection. Please see Long Covid Kids' Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.