North Carolina Teen Left Struggling to Walk Due to COVID-linked Condition MIS-C

A North Carolina teen was left struggling to walk after developing a rare health condition seen in young people that scientists have linked to COVID-19.

More than 2,000 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) have been reported in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

MIS-C is a condition in which different parts of the body can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

The causes of MIS-C remain a mystery, but the vast majority of young people who have suffered the condition have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone with the disease.

One family from Stanly County, North Carolina, told WSOC-TV of their 15-year-old son's terrifying experience with the condition.

Cooper Hudson was an active and healthy teen until a few weeks ago, when he started experiencing some strange symptoms, the family said.

"Cooper, like two weeks ago, he didn't feel good for a few days," the teen's mother, Melanie Hudson, told WSOC-TV. "When he got up, he was so dizzy he could barely walk and it was awful."

The family saw a pediatrician, who sent the teen to a local hospital, where medical staff found that he had COVID-19 antibodies and was experiencing a syndrome known as MIS-C.

"We knew it was serious, but we didn't know how serious it was in those first few days," the teen's father, Matt Hudson, told WSOC-TV.

Doctors determined that the condition was affecting the teen's heart and liver. Eventually, his condition worsened and medical staff transferred him to the ICU.

"We were really worried—like scared to death—because we didn't know what it was," Melanie Hudson said. "And then I felt like they couldn't fix it."

Fortunately, the teen's condition improved and medical staff released him from hospital. But doctors say it could be weeks before he regains his strength.

"Just pay attention," Matt Hudson said. "This stuff is real. If your kid starts having weird symptoms and you can't explain it, don't take 'No' for an answer."

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

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

Around 99 percent of children who experienced MIS-C had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the CDC. The remaining one percent had been around someone with the disease.

Health worker taking COVID-19 swab from child
Stock image showing a health worker taking a COVID-19 swab from a child. iStock