An eight-year-old schoolboy was placed in an induced coma after suffering a rare reaction to Covid-19, the Mirror reports.
Cameron Brown was rushed to hospital three weeks after recovering from the virus. The boy, who tested positive for the virus but exhibited no symptoms, had a large lump on his neck and rashes on his body.
Four days later, his vision went blurry as he was watching television. His concerned mum Lorraine and dad James rushed Cameron to A&E where doctors diagnosed him with Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS).
The rare condition causes serious inflammation throughout the body as the immune system goes into overdrive, attacking the body.
Cameron’s condition worsened rapidly and his heart began to fail.
In a bid to stabilise him, medics placed Cameron in an induced coma and he was flown from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
The young boy eventually pulled through, but James and Lorraine have issued a stark warning to parents to be aware of symptoms after admitting they knew nothing about PIMS before their son fell ill.
Lorraine, 45, from Stonehaven, told the Mirror : “On October 11, Cameron’s friend’s mum contacted me to say her wee boy had tested positive for Covid.
“When I got home and we did a lateral flow test and the two lines appeared so we instantly put him into isolation.
“He was a wee bit tired in the first few days but after that he was bouncing on the sofas back to his usual self.
“I don’t think we’d have known he had Covid if the mum hadn’t contacted me.”
Three weeks after recovering from the virus, Cameron discovered a lump on his neck on the day he was due to get his flu jab at school.
Lorraine said: “On Tuesday, November 2 he said he had a sore lump on his neck.
“I spoke to the doctor and they thought it was just his lymph glands. His temperature went up to about 40 degrees but the doctor said it might be a reaction to his flu vaccine.
“On the Thursday he was still very tired. He managed some food on the Thursday night but was sick in the night.
“After that he wasn’t interested in food. We called the doctor again and she took urine samples, checked his chest and his pulse. She was quite concerned but his temperature was really high.”
Lorraine was told to call 111 if Cameron’s condition worsened over the weekend.
On the Saturday afternoon, he developed a rash on his hand and his face.
About half an hour later, he was watching television when he told his mum he couldn’t see the screen properly.
Lorraine called 111 and they told her to bring Cameron into A&E, where doctors discovered the youngster had symptoms of PIMS.
Lorraine said: “They took his blood pressure and it had dropped quite a lot. They hooked him up for various things and explained PIMS.
“I hadn’t heard of it before but they said after Covid, antibodies can be over fighting and swelling up.
“All night long he was getting various tests done. They were using haemoglobin to regulate his heart but it wasn’t responding.
“At that point at around 9am in the morning they decided to put him into an induced coma.
“I had just focussed on him getting better but when they said they that, that was my breakdown point.
“You know his heart is failing and that antithetic can be quite dangerous.
“He was still very tired but we had a Facetime chat with his dad and his brothers in the morning. The nurses told us to just act normal and not alert him to what was going to be happening.
“I had a chat with him before it and told him, ‘you can’t go to sleep, you’ve got to come back’.
“But he wasn’t scared. He is a very strong willed and determined little child.”
Due to stormy conditions, the air ambulance was grounded, so a coastguard helicopter picked doctors up in Glasgow and flew them to Aberdeen.
The rescue team then collected Cameron and transported him to the QEUH.
Cameron was kept in ICU for three days before he woke up.
Dad James, 48, said: “My head was spinning, we were so worried, but thankfully by that point they had managed to stabilise his body enough so that the steroids were able to do their job.
“The consultant explained that with PIMS they tend to see it in kids who have no underlying health conditions and have basically got strong immune systems.
“It’s almost like your immune system is too strong, and it gets over Covid too quickly. So the kids aren’t having any symptoms – or if they do it’s really mild – and then they are at risk of suffering from PIMS.
“Because the body largely recovered from Covid and the immune system still thinks it’s fighting the virus, so it ramps up and gets to a point where the immune system starts attacking the body and starts inflaming the major organs.
“In Cameron’s case it was his heart that was struggling.
“As long as you can get the immune system under control, you can recover really quickly because it’s not like an infection or a disease that is attacking your body. It’s your own body’s immune system. Once you can control that you can bounce back and recover.”
Cameron spent a week in hospital before being discharged.
The brave youngster was desperate to get back home to see his brothers Archie, 12, and Ben, 13.
He also wanted to see his friends at school and returned two days later.
Lorraine said: “After a chilled weekend he said he wanted to go straight back to school.
“He’s had a bit of brain fog and has been complaining about leg cramps but he’s been through a lot.
“This week he’s been back doing extracurricular activities. I think it’s quite unusual for a kid to bounce back that quickly.
“The steroids have been affecting his hormones but physically he’s doing really well.”
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children describes the main symptom of PIMS as a high temperature that lasts for a few days.
Other symptoms can include:
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