Mom remembers one-year-old’s battle with COVID-19
OMAHA, Neb. (KETV) – A one-year-old boy with Down syndrome is recovering after spending a month in hospital on a ventilator to fight COVID-19.
As her mother Amy Crosby drove from South Dakota to Nebraska Children’s Hospital in Omaha, she wondered if she would return without her one-year-old son, Crue Crosby. The infant, who has Down syndrome, tested positive for COVID-19 in December.
“They just said, ‘He’s very sick, Amy. We’ll do our best to get him home with you,’ Crosby said. “I just didn’t know what our future was going to hold.
Crosby quickly realized that this would be a future filled with hits, leads, and plenty of questions. She and her husband were shocked when they learned of Crue’s diagnosis as they had taken extreme precautions since birth.
“Which is best?” What’s not the best? Are we doing all we can? Did we do all we could? How did we catch it? said Crosby.
Crue’s parents are vaccinated against the virus, but children under 5 cannot yet be vaccinated.
Dr Sharon Stoolman, pediatrician at Children’s, says it’s impossible to live in a bubble, especially with such high community transmission.
“We find that the burden of disease falls disproportionately on these young children,” she said. “Some children with special needs have a weak immune response to infections in the first place.”
For these children, wearing a mask can also be difficult. If the adults around them do not take precautions, children are particularly susceptible to the virus.
Crue’s history of open-heart surgery and a rare immune disease made COVID so much scarier, her mother says. He needed specialist care, which is why they traveled for hours to Omaha.
“We got bad taste, and it was awful. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy,” Crosby said.
For a while, the family didn’t know if the trip was worth it, as the hospital had a bed but no nurses were available. A nurse stepped in to take an extra shift.
During the month that Crue was intubated, children’s intensive care unit beds became increasingly difficult to find.
“Every day it’s an interesting discussion about how we make sure we can take care of all the sick children in the community,” Stoolman said. “I think we are in the eye of the storm.
For Crue, this storm is finally calming down. He was taken off a ventilator this week, but has a long way to go to recover.
“What exactly happened was my nightmare, my worst dream I thought could ever happen,” Crosby said.
But the mother of the one-year-old is just grateful to be able to drive home with her son in the back seat.
“I just want to grab him and cuddle him and kiss him and tell him how proud I am of him, which I tell him all the time,” Crosby said.
Last year, Children’s had about one or two kids a week with COVID-19, Stoolman says. In mid-January this year, there were 18 children in their hospital with the virus.
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