France

France

Female / 9 years & 1 month

France’s Journey

Share the first part of France's story for readers on Sleuth! When and why did you start to feel concerned?

I had COVID starting from July 13th. While my family wasn't tested, I assume they all got it, too. France got a fever starting on July 16th. I started to get concerned on September 4th when she returned back from school saying, "I am hot." Her temperature was 99.4. I called the clinic and asked, "Should I be concerned? Is it a cold? What should I do?" My daughter told me not to worry. They were out in the sun at school then went back inside where there was A/C, so she said that the drastic change in weather probably made her sick. The nurse told me that if the temperature gets higher, I should go to the ER. I couldn't do much. That evening, we went out for dinner. She fell asleep in the car, and her eyes were starting to get red. I woke her up in the restaurant, but she kept putting her head down. I kept telling her to eat - she's normally not a picky eater - but she said, no, I'm tired. She started eating a cheeseburger and she then she vomits one time. As I saw her vomiting, I lost my appetite because I was worried something was wrong. I told my husband, let’s just go. I’m going to rush her to the hospital, let’s see what’s going on. I feel like she got COVID again. I thought she had a cold. I'd tell her, 'let’s go to the hospital,' but she said, 'No, I feel better." I went home, took her temperature and gave her Motrin. She broke the fever every 8 hours. Then at 5am, another fever was kicking in. I gave her Motrin, another 8 hours later it stopped, and then started at 6pm again. As soon as I took her to the children's hospital, her fever was at 101, and had started having diarrhea. She had pain when she was eating so whenever she was eating, her stomach would hurt. Whenever she coughed, her chest would hurt. I told them everything and they told them she had COVID. They said that it looks like just a stomach bug, if she doesn’t get better in 2-3 days, then bring her back. On Sunday, you know, we to grocery shop, and we made breakfast. She’s a good eater, she’s not picky. I notice she didn’t want to eat anymore. "I'm just going to drink. i’m not hungry. It’s just that my tummy is hurting." The next day, on Labor Day, I took her to children’s hospital in northwest. By now, her fever would've otherwise be broken; she’s good at breaking down fevers by 2-3 days. She’s now having stomach pain when she eats, more diarrhea, vomiting more often, eyes were super read. "No, Mom, it’s still a stomach bug. It’ll last up to 5 days." I felt like i was walking out with no answers. My gut was saying there’s something wrong and they wouldn’t help me. I called my husband as soon as I got out, they say it’s a stomach bug. He said, they’re probably right. I know that when she’s sick and something is an infection, it doesn’t get treated right away, the fever doesn’t go away. I recognize my child. My husband and I were listening her sleep. She was breathing like she’s running. I woke her up and she said my tummy is hurting really bad, it’s hurting a lot. I took her to another hospital, Washington Regional hospital, and I told them, you know what, she has been in children’s hospital with a stomach bug. They said: we need to take her to the COVID ward, this is how COVID starts. I said, "this is not COVID, we already had it in July. The time lapse is too soon to rewatch it because she should still have antibodies. They said, "Nope, we still transfer to that COVID section. We’re still going to do that." At that point, i didn’t know what to argue. They’re the doctors, they know more than I do. I had the baby with me and her sibling. so they do a CT scan, bloodwork on her, and it comes out to be she had an inflamed gallbladder and liver. In the CT scan, it showed she had a fatty liver. She had really swollen lymph nodes on her stomach. She was super dehydrated. She wasn’t eating anymore. She quit eating. Even water would hurt her stomach. Anything she ate hurt her. And she would get nauseous.

What was your experience, if any, seeking a diagnosis or treatment?

Here’s the worst part as a mom…they took her into a CT scan, she got freaked out. I wasn’t afraid of covid and I hadn’t heard of MIS-C. If i had hear about it, maybe I would've been. My dad mentioned it but I was so mean to him and I thought he was crazy. I just ignored him. I didn’t want to worry that it was that. They found a specialist to find her veins because they couldn’t put in a an IV. Her stools was literally liquid. We got there at 11:30am. By 5:30pm, the doctor comes in with paperwork and says she has a fatty liver and inflamed liver and gallbladder. The doctor said, "She has all these things and we can’t rule out lymphoma in the stomach. they misdiagnosed her in the stomach." "What’s lymphoma?" I asked. She says, sarcastically, ‘cancer.’ "It's most likely cancer. Show the pediatrician office, and show them these reviews and all the testing we did and get her to children’s hospital ASAP and choose her team of doctors." I never had anxiety or panic attacks before, but I called her mom. At that point, I can’t drive home, I can’t breathe. I just saw her, and I held her, and I cried. I didn’t know what to tell her. I hugged my daughter, I'm so sorry you’re going through this, and I’ll be there every step of the way. Everyone else went to bed that night. I put her to sleep. I lay with her, I came back to the living room, walking in circles, spinning in circles, thinking, "what am I going to do?" I spoke to the pediatrician, Dr. Tanya, the next morning. She said, "it’s not cancer, it’s not cancer. Her white cell, her red blood cells are fine. Most likely it’s mesenteric adenaitis. She’s super dehydrated, she needs to eat. It was Tuesday, I’d warm pads and put it in her stomach and that’s how I’d feed her. On Wednesday, I kept saying, she’s in so much pain. Her eyes, as soon as they’d open them, her eyes were red. I took her to the pediatrician and kept saying she’s dehydrated. They said, 'if she doesn’t get better, go to ER.’ That same night, I notice her breath was really bad. As if she was running but she was sleeping. Her heart was pumping super fast. I called children’s and spoke to a guy nurse. She was diagnosed with mesenteric adenaitis. I read online that when you’re dehydrated, your heart works twice as fast. Should i bring her in? "It’s your choice, you can bring her in now, we’re not busy," he said. I decided to take her to the hospital. She was sitting on a chair, getting her vitals taken, and she couldn't stay up. You just see her head spin around -- she would hear you, kinda open her eyes, they were super red. She already developed neck pain, stomach pain and red eyes, and rapid breathing. As soon as we get there, they do a glucose test because they thought she was going into a diabetic coma. They asked me about COVID, etc. and put me in a room at the back of the hospital. A doctor comes in and says, "Mom, I had a child like this last week. Exactly like her and it was MIS-C related to Covid. I will run all the tests, EKG, bloodwork, CT scan, and if possible, an MRI. And I will let you know. At this point, I said this is mesenteric adenaitis. I’ll be honest, i was in denial because I didn’t know about MIS-C because an EKG has to do with a heart. they said she has fatty liver and inflammation in her gallbladder, that’s what MIS-C looks like. The other guys start working on her, hooked her up on fluids, and antibiotics. The doctor comes in within 2.5 hours, and says her troponin levels are high. Her EKG is looking different and normal. Her inflammation is high, she has MIS-C and myocarditis. She says she's getting transferred to Children's Hospital in Little Rock. I was like, what are we talking about? I had started googling about MIS-C and read many kids don’t make it because their organs are inflamed. Her organs are fighting…all i understood is that her left ventricle wasn’t pumping enough blood and she could’ve gone into cardiac arrest immediately.

Do you have any other thoughts or advice you would like to share from this experience?

I want other parents to know about MIS-C. I want them to know to trust their gut feeling and not push it away. Mom's gut feeling is the first thing you should follow. Dr. Vonnegar said, you saved your daughter's life. The longer she would've stayed at home, it would've been a different story. I just want to let parents know that even if it seems like a little stomach cold, ask questions. Don't feel intimidated or feel like you don't have the right to. I feel that the children's hospital failed me the first two times. I feel that Washington Regional Hospital failed me with the cancer diagnosis. If I would've been less worried that they think I'm crazy, I wouldn't have failed my daughter the first two times I took her to children's hospital. If I had even known to ask for bloodwork and antibodies, maybe her heart wouldn’t have been jeopardized. We have a right to request tests or further testing.

Timeline

Below is a timeline of France’s observed symptoms, diagnosed conditions, and treatments and therapies.

France's Medical Notes

Signs & Symptoms

Fatigue

Diagnosed Conditions

Treatments & Therapies

IVIG

Motrin

Additional Info

On Fast breathing

She was diagnosed with miocarditis

On mesenteric adenitis

This ended up being the wrong diagnosis. She was misdiagnosed by our pediatrician with it but it was MIS-C.

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