'Healthy' Cheerleader, 12, has Been Battling Long COVID For Over A Year

A 12-year-old girl from North Carolina says she is still battling long COVID more than a year after she first contracted the virus.

Wednesday Lynch, who lives in Gaston County, was healthy and active prior to getting infected with the virus in the fall of last year. Her mother Melissa Lynch told WBTV that her daughter's initial symptoms in September 2020 were pretty mild—she lost her sense of smell and her energy levels dipped.

But days after she thought her daughter had recovered from COVID-19, she was ill again. "She was extremely hard to wake," Melissa Lynch told the station, adding that her daughter was fatigued and suffering from headaches.

Since then, Wednesday Lynch has continued to struggle with the lingering effects of COVID-19, including brain fog, fevers, headaches problems with her blood pressure as well as extreme fatigue.

Wednesday Lynch told WBTV that the symptoms have made it harder for her to enjoy doing the things she enjoyed before she got sick, including cheerleading.

"I just wanna like go out and do a bunch of stuff and be active, but like, it just feels like I just can't do anything cause my energy is just, I don't have no energy," she said.

"I hope it will go away soon because I just don't want to deal with it anymore."

Wednesday Lynch was referred for care and research at Children's National Hospital in Washington D.C., her mother wrote on a GoFundMe page to raise funds to cover expenses.

"The cost of expenses of travel from specialist to specialist are compounding especially for out of state for her care," Melissa Lynch wrote. She has been contacted for additional comment.

Estimates vary on how often long COVID-19 symptoms occur in kids but according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it appears to be less common in children and adolescents than in adults

A recent study from the U.K. found some 14 percent of children, aged between 11 and 17, had symptoms 15 weeks later.

The most common symptoms include tiredness or fatigue, headaches, insomnia, trouble concentrating, coughs and muscle and joint pain, according to the CDC.

The CDC's website adds: "If your child has a post-COVID condition that impacts their ability to attend school, complete schoolwork, or perform their usual activities, it may be helpful to discuss with your child's school possible accommodations such as extra time on tests, scheduled rest periods throughout the day, a modified class schedule, etc.

"School administrators, school counselors, and school nurses can work with families and healthcare professionals to provide learning accommodations for children with post-COVID conditions, particularly those experiencing thinking, concentrating, or physical difficulties."

Masked children wait
File photo shows masked school children wait to have their portraits taken during picture day at Rogers International School on September 23, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. John Moore/Getty Images