Baby Care

From infants to teens, this hospital has a deluge of young Covid-19 patients. Here’s what parents want others to know

From infants to teens, this hospital has a deluge of young Covid-19 patients. Here's what parents want others to know
Written by Publishing Team

Her mom, Gayvielle Goff, has trouble speaking.

“It’s really scary,” Goff said, trying to hold back tears.

In the same hospital in Houston, Halie Mulanax, 17, is fighting Covid-19 on a ventilator. She has never seen her 3 week old baby because she has been in a medically induced coma for almost a month.

Hospitals across the country are grappling with an unprecedented wave of children with Covid-19 – fueled by holiday gatherings and the highly contagious Delta and Omicron variants.
Last week, an average of 574 children with Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day – a pandemic record, according to data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And a doctor worries that “we could see more children hospitalized in a very short period of time.”

A teenage girl in a coma missed the birth of her baby

Halie has just celebrated her 17th birthday in an artificial coma.

She has no idea that her daughter, Xylah, must have given birth 10 weeks earlier.

The family ordeal of Covid-19 has been “heartbreaking,” said Halie’s mother Amy Woodruff.

“Our Covid journey began… on November 29. My daughter and I have both tested positive for Covid,” said Woodruff.

There is no evidence that Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility or puberty

While Woodruff is doing well with his illness, his teenage daughter is not.

Halie was hospitalized in Amarillo and had to be put on a ventilator.

At 29 weeks pregnant, “she couldn’t breathe,” Woodruff said. “Her oxygen level was very low – not enough to support the baby.”

While in a induced coma, Halie underwent a Caesarean section and gave birth to Xylah on December 9.

She weighed 3 pounds and 6 ounces. Miraculously, his grandmother said, the baby did not have Covid-19.

Woodruff said she has no idea how she will break the news that Halie has missed the birth of her daughter and the first weeks of her life.

“I’m a mom. I couldn’t imagine. And that’s my little girl away from our little girl,” Woodruff said. “My heart is bleeding for her.”

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While Xylah was in an Amarillo hospital, her mother had to be transported 900 miles from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

“Mom was in such bad shape, they couldn’t do all the treatment Mom needed while the baby was still there,” Amarillo said.

Woodruff said Halie was not vaccinated against Covid-19 – largely because she was concerned about how the vaccine might affect her baby.

But now Woodruff has said she will encourage her loved ones to get the vaccine.

“Everyone I love, I wish they would,” she said.

“I did not expect the Covid”

4-month-old Graysen Perry's mother said she was concerned her baby might need to be intubated.

Gayvielle Goff never imagined that any of her children – a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 4-month-old – could get so sick with Covid-19.

“They hardly catch a cold,” Goff said. “Some people may find it hard to believe. But my babies really don’t get sick.”

Children under 5 are still waiting for Covid-19 vaccines

That drastically changed when Graysen, 4 months old, contracted Covid-19. He is now hospitalized at Texas Children’s, the country’s largest pediatric hospital. And Goff worries he might be put on a ventilator.

“I wasn’t expecting Covid,” the 24-year-old mother said.

“Ever since I was pregnant with him, I stayed at home. I went to doctor’s appointments. Maybe to the grocery store when I really needed to go to the grocery store. But other than that, I haven’t been anywhere, ”she said. noted.

But Goff said she was not vaccinated against Covid-19. She said she believed Graysen fell ill with Covid-19 after a Christmas rally.

Now Goff has said she is “really thinking about” getting the vaccine.

“An unprecedented number of infected children”

In just two weeks, the number of children hospitalized with Covid-19 at Texas Children’s has quadrupled.

What parents need to know about returning children to school during Omicron

And the push is likely to worsen with the spread of the Omicron variant, said Dr Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s.

“It is by far the king of transmissible Covid viruses. And we are seeing an unprecedented number of children infected and hospitalized for children,” Hotez said.

On top of that, “we just did a terrible job immunizing our children across the country,” he said.

Among the Covid-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Children’s, “they have many respiratory symptoms (…) pneumonia, requiring respiratory assistance to help them breathe better,” said Dr. Melanie Kitagawa, transitional medical director intensive care in the hospital.

While early studies suggest that Omicron causes less severe disease than the Delta variant, Omicron is much more contagious.

And that means more children could be hospitalized, said Dr Jim Versalovic, chief pathologist at Texas Children’s.

“The problem is that with so many children and adults infected, even though the percentage hospitalization rate is lower, we could see more children hospitalized in a very short period of time,” he said. -he declares. “And that certainly puts a strain on our healthcare resources.”

CNN’s Bonney Kapp and Michelle Krupa contributed to this report.


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