Boy, 6, Almost Dies From COVID-Linked Disease MIS-C

A 6-year-old boy is on life support after developing Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare, new and serious condition that scientists have linked to COVID.

The syndrome affects a multitude of different body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes and gastrointestinal organs, which can become inflamed, leading to hospitalization and in some cases death.

Some children have had to have limbs amputated, as part of their treatment.

Zyaire Bell, from Las Vegas, Nevada, tested positive for COVID in September 2021, reported Fox 5 Vegas on February 1. His mother, Sharella Ruffin, took him to hospital when his condition worsened.

Ruffin was told by medics that her son had developed MIS-C, and that his heart was in such a fragile condition that they might not have been able to save him.

Bell was subsequently airlifted to a children's hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, along with an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to oxygenate his blood.

For two weeks his survival depended on the ECMO machine.

As of January 31, 2022, there have been 6,851 confirmed cases of MIS-C reported in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 59 children have died from the syndrome.

Experts have yet to determine what causes MIS-C.

Most children who have developed the syndrome were not suffering from any underlying health conditions, and only around one in 3,000-4,000 children who have contracted COVID have gone on to suffer from MIS-C.

The CDC has said that peaks in MIS-C cases generally follow peaks in COVID-19 cases by approximately a month, with symptoms of MIS-C generally appearing between two and six weeks after infection.

Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, rashes, bloodshot eyes and fatigue.

Ruffin said that doctors from all over the country flew to Salt Lake City to visit her son, as he was one of the few children in the U.S. who required a life-support device.

Treatment for MIS-C currently requires the input of multiple specialists, including cardiologists, critical care specialists, hematologists, infectious diseases specialists and rheumatologists.

Ruffin has said that she may end up facing a $1 million medical bill.

"We don't know how long it will take for him to recover but he is fighting," Ruffin has explained on a GoFundMe page to raise support and awareness of the condition.

"He is alert and oriented, not on the breathing machine anymore but is still fighting."

Boy in hospital with hands being held
Stock image of a patient. Most people who have developed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children had not suffered from any underlying health conditions. shironosov/iStock