HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC4) – Parents Andrew and Caitlin Maurer never knew their child had survived COVID-19.
Later, they would find out their 7-year-old daughter had been COVID-positive. But in late November, as they watched little Grace suffer from labored breathing and a fever that wouldn’t break. They simply wanted her to feel better.
Naturally, they wondered if she had COVID-19. But they didn’t know why her symptoms kept getting worse.
“She was so completely out of it,” said mother Caitlin Maurer.
First, mom and dad brought Grace to urgent care to get fluids. Then, they brought the 7-year-old to the family pediatrician.
They were told it was possibly a kidney infection, or a urinary tract infection. But still, Grace’s condition wasn’t improving. And the diagnoses didn’t seem right.
“If you would barely touch her, she would scream in pain,” said Caitlin.
“And then her eyes starting bulging. That’s when I knew hey — we need to go,” she added.
They took Grace to the emergency room, and the 7-year-old was later transferred to the ICU.
“I just stayed up all night, and just prayed — and cried,” said Andrew.
After a battery of tests, doctors said Grace didn’t currently have COVID. But — unbeknownst to mom and dad — it appeared Grace did in fact have COVID-19 at some point. She must have been asymptomatic, doctors told her parents.
Testing results, provided by the medical team, indicated that Grace had a condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C.
“I used to be on the whole page of masks don’t do anything, this is just the flu. Kids don’t get sick from COVID,” said Andrew.
“And I gotta tell ya — I’ve been completely humbled,” he added.
After days in the hospital, Grace recovered — though she was hospitalized again soon after with Meningitis as a result of her hospital stay.
Still, her parents say their daughter is back to her old self — save one fact.
Her heart, which swelled during her sickness, is the source of concern for doctors and her parents. So they’ve advised her parents not to let 7-year-old Grace do physical activity for months.
“The scary part is, we still don’t know how it’s going to affect her,” said Andrew.
“I don’t know what we would’ve done if she didn’t make it.”
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help the family after Grace’s hospital stay.