Long COVID stress in children

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 7:30 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - We’ve heard so much about how COVID-19 can affect adults long-term, but what about children? We spoke to one mother and her son talk about the stress they’ve experienced dealing with long-hauler COVID symptoms.

This family has been dealing with COVID since July and not only has this virus taken on toll on the family physically and emotionally, but also academically.

12-year-old Matthew Jones is a 7th grader at Berry Middle School in Hoover. It’s already a transitional year for many students and Matthew has missed four weeks of school battling COVID.

“Well, I had fever for four weeks, I was nauseous, weak, stomach pain, sore throat. Oh, and taste and smell. I was scared like because multiple of my mom’s friends and stuff have died from it and it’s very scary, I would say. It doesn’t feel too great either,” Matthew explained.

Matthew, his 15-year-old sister, Sarah, and his mother, all contracted COVID after attending a large gathering back in July.

They were wearing masks but said most of the other attendees were not.

“Everything stopped. I mean…we were not able to function. I was not able to go to work. My kids were not able to go to school and so, everything changed. And this is week nine, and Matthew and I still have symptoms from COVID,” said Matthew’s mother, Valerie Hudgins.

Matthew and his mother praised the teachers and staff at Berry Middle School for helping him transition back to school, but it hasn’t been easy.

“Very stressed. I was very stressed for like two weeks for trying to keep on my…get my work back up. Yeah, it was very stressful,” Matthew said.

“They actually pull him out of class twice a day and let him take a nap to regain his strength so he can make it throughout the day and that has been extremely helpful for him,” Hudgins explained.

Now, the family feels it’s their mission to warn others about the dangers of COVID-19.

“Take it serious. Wear your mask all the time. That’s something that would help. Get your vaccine,” Matthew said.

“I am thankful for the vaccine and truly I don’t feel like we have anything else out there…you know…to help with COVID,” Hudgins said.

Hudgins works in health care and was fully vaccinated when they contracted COVID in July, but she said she fears what might have happened if she hadn’t received the vaccine saying she might be on a ventilator or may not have made it.

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