SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two parents in San Diego are pleading for others to hear their story after their eight-year-old son got Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, a rare and serious condition associated with COVID-19.
“When I see my son, it was something scary for me," said Leo Cortes.
Leo and his wife, Rosa, wished they could go back in time. Rosa says she got her first Pfizer dose around August 2. Eight days later, she got COVID-19, and then her husband got sick.
“Now we understand now that this is the wrong decision that we took," said Leo.
Their eight-year-old son Eduardo told his parents he felt congested, but he was mostly asymptomatic. Leo and Rosa never took him to get tested.
That is until Saturday, September 11. Weeks after his parents got sick, Eduardo had a 106.1-degree fever, rashes, and swollen eyes.
“It’s really hard," said Leo.
"I can’t even explain because at the moment when you live that moment your reaction is all that you want is to give something to your son, just so he can go home.”
The Cortes' say they went to one hospital but then went to Rady Children's Hospital. To date, the hospital says they have seen 80 cases just like this one, none of them fatalities.
An unvaccinated person can get COVID-19 roughly two to six weeks later, and children between the ages of eight to 16 show symptoms.
Dr. Adriana Tremoulet, an Infectious Disease Specialist with Rady Children's, says all cases start the same.
“Kids are coming in with fever, develop a rash, red eyes, some neck pain and swelling of the neck," explains Dr. Tremoulet, "Some severe abdominal pain as well.”
Dr. Tremoulet also says that right now it is not known why some children get infected while others do not. In the Cortes' case, they have two other children, none of which displayed Eduardo's condition.
According to Dr. Tremoulet, in about 75% of cases, parents remain with the children as there can be issues with the child's heart.
The way this disease is treated is very similar to how one would treat Kawasaki disease. Once a patient has recovered from MISC, they have a follow-up at two weeks, then six months, then a year.
The doctor adds that there are still many unknowns with this disease which is why it continues to be researched. The post-inflammatory disease resulted from COVID-19, and roughly there are 4,000 cases nationwide with a mortality rate of about three to five percent.
“Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there about the vaccine and I would love to say go get vaccinated and that’s what people would do, but I understand there is a lot of hesitancy," said Dr. Tremoulet.
It was hesitancy that the Cortes' had. Now they are by their son's side as they watch him continue to push through to see another day.
“Do it now. We don’t have to wait to see another day we don’t have to wait to see my case or another child in the hospital. Because it’s hard. It’s really really hard," said Leo.
Eduardo has received round-the-clock care since Saturday. His parents think by Monday he might be able to return home.