Just three weeks after recovering from COVID-19, the four-year-old, Muhammad Ali Zafir Mohamed Azmi, started developing high fever and chills.
His condition worsened and he began vomiting two days later. Seeing his condition deteriorate worried Ali’s parents so much so that they took him to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) on Nov 1, where he was immediately admitted.
However, he wasn’t getting any better and so was transferred from the general ward to a high dependency ward and then to the ICU, where he had to be incubated.
The boy’s mother, Ms Marilyn Cacanindin narrated her harrowing ordeal to The Straits Times in an exclusive interview, flagging a warning for other Singaporean parents.
A 4-Year-Old Boy Suffers From Rare Inflammatory Syndrome Covid-19
Image courtesy: iStock
Doctors diagnosed the four-year-old with multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). It is a rare and severe condition that affects kids who are infected with COVID-19.
Ali Zafar is one of the four cases of MIS-C that emerged from some 8,000 Covid-19 paediatric cases, according to the data revealed by the Ministry of Health last Saturday.
The young boy had recovered from COVID-19 in September and was placed on home recovery from September 24 to October 6. He then returned to school on October 18.
His mum shared that the boy was active as before and was playing with his siblings. He was getting back to his energetic self and hence when all of sudden he had a fever on October 29, his parents were left clueless.
Ms Marilyn and her husband, Mr Mohamed Azmi, live with their four children, aged between one and nine years, and their domestic helper in Kaki Bukit.
Child’s condition deteriorated and he was admitted to KKH
An antigen rapid test (ART) was conducted on the boy. When the result came out negative, Ms Marilyn left him to rest at home and went to work.
The boy had been suffering from chills and so his mum gave him ibuprofen, which they had at home. But the chills and fever persisted and he began vomiting on October 31.
The following day, he was admitted to KKH. He was given 12 different medications, incubated, and was also kept on the ventilator for one week till November 7.
“When he was being intubated, he kept crying and shouting and didn’t want me to go, but I had to,” the mum shared.
It was very traumatic for Ali Zafir’s parents to see him go through so much pain, with needles all around his body.
Image courtesy: iStock
Condition is improving but Ali is still in the ICU
Even though the boy continues to remain in the ICU, he has shown signs of improvement after being taken off the ventilator.
The boy can now raise his arms and sit up with the support of nurses and physiotherapists. He cannot stand up yet.
Other family members were infected too
Ali Zafir and his mum tested positive for coronavirus on September 24, two days after her father–who at the time was fully vaccinated–tested positive.
Soon, her other family members, including her husband, Mr Azmi and their two elder kids – a son, eight, and a daughter, nine – also tested positive. Fortunately, they recovered.
“My son faced pain with bravery”
The mum shared her son faced his pain with much bravery. She thanked the hospital staff, including all the doctors and the nurses for taking care of Ali and helping him recover.
Ms Marilyn, who works as a manager at a fast-food chain McDonald, also expressed her gratitude to her boss for giving her time off to deal with this untoward situation.
The intention behind sharing her experience was to highlight the need for parents to look out for the potential MIS-C symptoms in kids who may have recently recovered from coronavirus.
She further shared her experience on Facebook, to reach out to more parents.
She also shared that her young son only had one regret that he couldn’t be home to celebrate his sister’s birthday. Both his elder and younger siblings share their birthday on the same date, November 3.
We hope Ali Zafir has a speedy recovery!
Rare Inflammatory Syndrome Covid-19: Symptoms To Take Note Of
Image courtesy: iStock
The initial symptoms of MIS-C often include rashes, fever, rashes, red eyes, diarrhoea and even vomiting.
However, it may become critical as the inflammation can affect the heart, blood vessels and other organs. This can make some kids very ill and in need of urgent care.
Here’s when you need to call your doctor:
Immediately call your family doctor or paediatrician if your child has a persistent fever of 100.4 or more and lasts for three or four days. Here are some other symptoms which you should be careful of:
- Having red eyes
- Rashes (bumps, blotches and even red spots)
- Feeling unusually weak or even dizzy
- Worsening abdominal pain, accompanied by diarrhoea and vomiting
- Feeling unusually sleepy or confused
Paediatrician Anna Sick-Samuels shared, “MIS-C is treatable if it is detected. Doctors can use medicines such as intravenous immunoglobulin, steroids and other drugs to reduce inflammation. This will protect the heart, kidneys and other organs from lasting damage.”
All images are for representational purposes only.
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