A 3-year-old Missouri boy suffered a stroke after testing positive for coronavirus antibodies, his family says.
“We thought we were going to lose him for sure,” Tim Parris, Colt’s father, told local news station Fox 2 Now. “I don’t care how tough you are; you will cry. You can’t help it when it’s your 3-year-old laying there.”
Colt last week stopped eating and drinking, his mother, Sara Parris, told the station. She took him to a local clinic to get tested for COVID-19, which was negative. But doctors at the clinic recommended the 3-year-old be taken to the hospital.
Colt at the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital later tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.
Hours later, his mother said her son lost the ability to move his right arm and right leg. His speech was also “off,” she noted.
“So, I went to hand him his [stuffed animal] Boo and I noticed that he didn’t use his dominate arm to grab it,” Sara Parris said. “He reached over to grab his bunny and then again, I knew something else wasn’t right.”
Doctors quickly ran tests and discovered there was a blockage in the toddler’s brain, a possible neurological effect of COVID-19.
“The COVID diagnosis is important because we think the reason why this patient with COVID, including the child, have strokes and a variety of other problems is that they have the propensity to form clots,” Dr. Camilo Gomez, a neurologist who removed Colt’s brain clot on Wednesday, told the news station.
Indeed, the novel coronavirus has been linked to several neurological conditions, with one study from July identifying those conditions as stroke, delirium, nerve damage and a rare inflammatory brain condition that can be fatal.
That said, “there’s really no other case like this,” Dr. Paul Carney, a pediatric neurologist who also treated Colt, told Fox 2 Now.
“What was different here was a child and, as I mention, there’s really no other case like this,” Carney said. “If this had been anybody over the age of 40 or 60, they would have probably had a very different outcome.”
His mother said she isn’t’ sure where her son initially contracted the virus, as she and her husband chose to homeschool their children shortly after the pandemic hit.
“We minimized public interaction to [the] highest extent,” Sara Parris said. “We don’t go out and so, in our head, it can’t be COVID because we’re not around anyone.”
Colt is now on the road to recovery. He will require rehab to regain movement in his right arm and leg, and will be on blood thinners or aspirin for the next six months, the news outlet reported.
Sara Parris called her son’s improving health a blessing this holiday season.
“We already had our Christmas,” she said. “It’s sitting on the bed there in the room. I don’t think we could have asked for anything more than that.”