Girl's Feet Turned Blue by COVID-Linked Illness MIS-C: 'Absolutely Terrifying'

A mother has told of her "terrifying" experience after her five-month-old daughter's hands and feet turned blue due to a rare COVID-linked condition.

Ohio nurse Lauren Grant said in a Facebook post that her daughter, Maddie, suffered from a condition known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children (MIS-C).

MIS-C is a condition linked to COVID-19 characterized by inflammation in different parts of the body including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes and gastrointestinal organs.

The causes of MIS-C remain a mystery, but around 99 percent of children who have experienced MIS-C had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The remaining one percent had been around someone with the disease.

"Maddie's inflammatory response seems to have been in her vessels as well as her heart. Yes, this is exactly what you may have heard about on the news," Grant wrote in the Facebook post. "And yes, it's very real and very scary. If you don't believe COVID is real at this point, I implore you to continue reading."

In the Facebook post, Grant said that her family had all recently been diagnosed with COVID-19.

"We have all been doing better and we thought Madelyn was doing better too—but we were very very wrong. With that said, I'm coming on here to share our experience in hopes of helping anyone with small children who have had COVID recently to BE AWARE and LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!!!!"

Grant's husband had dropped off their daughter at a daycare center one day earlier this month. But later that day, staff at the center messaged the nurse to say that her daughter's hands and feet had turned blue.

"I went and picked her up and I noticed that she was having some rapid respirations," Grant told WCNC. "It was absolutely terrifying. My first instinct as a mother was—what's going on? And then my second instinct, as a nurse, is she's not getting enough oxygen. My husband and I were just sitting there sobbing because we just didn't know if she was going to make it or not."

The daughter was rushed to a Cleveland Clinic Children's by ambulance, where doctors found that her heart was inflamed, while her heart rate was very high.

"Normally, for a baby, their heart rates are anywhere from 100 to mid-100s at rest," Heather Daniels, an infectious disease specialist with Cleveland Clinic Children's, told WCNC. "Hers was over 200 and it was going up to about 240 to 260. Because of that, she was quickly taken to the ICU."

Eventually, doctors diagnosed the child with MIS-C and medical staff administered treatments to reduce the inflammation in her body.

"A lot of the body's reaction to the previous infection causes it to ramp up and cause lots of inflammation," Daniels said.

The child's condition improved around 24 hours after receiving the treatments, and she was released from hospital more than a week later.

MIS-C can be serious, and potentially deadly in severe cases, although most children and teens who experience the condition recover well after receiving medical treatment.

The CDC says you should contact a health care provider if your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C, which include:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neck pain
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling extra tired

The agency recommends seeking emergency care immediately if a child shows any of the following signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Severe abdominal pain

Newsweek, in partnership with NewsGuard, is dedicated to providing accurate and verifiable vaccine and health information. With NewsGuard's HealthGuard browser extension, users can verify if a website is a trustworthy source of health information. Visit the Newsweek VaxFacts website to learn more and to download the HealthGuard browser extension.

Baby's feet
Stock image showing the feet of a baby. A mother has told of her "terrifying" experience after her five-month-old daughter's feet turned blue due to rare COVID-linked condition. iStock