(KOMU/CNN/Meredith) - A 3-year-old boy from Missouri is recovering at home after doctors said he experienced a stroke shortly after testing positive for COVID-19.
Sara Parris took her son, Colt, to the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Columbia on Dec. 15 after he stopped eating and drinking. The boy tested positive for COVID-19 -- but the next morning, his mother noticed he wasn't talking normally.
“I just figured he’s in so much pain, and he’s so tired because he’s not resting, that he just doesn’t have the energy to talk,” Parris KOMU-TV.
Then, she noticed he had lost the ability to move his right arm and leg when she tried to hand him his stuffed animal.
"He's typically right-handed, so I thought he would just grab it. He completely reached over his body with his left arm," Parris said.
After running a series of tests, doctors told Sara and her husband, Tim, that Colt had a stroke that cut off blood supply to the left side of his brain.
Dr. Camilo Gomez, a neurologist at the hospital, said doctors were looking at the link between the virus and neurological issues.
“The COVID diagnosis is important because we think that the reason these patients with COVID, including this child, have strokes and a variety of other problems is that they have a propensity to form clots,” Gomez said.
Gomez said his team rarely performs acute stroke interventions on children, but it’s not unheard of. He said helping Colt to recover was the highlight of his week.
“The ability to give that family the child that is neurologically improved by the time Christmas rolls around, I thought it was prime for us. They just were walking on sunshine,” he said.
Colt’s mom hopes his experience leads to more awareness about the complications of COVID-19, especially in young children.
“It can be a lot more serious than just the flu. Children will get it, can get it. You might not have any symptoms like we did. We didn’t have a clue that he even had it,” Parris said.
Colt is now out of the hospital but still experiencing some issues moving his right arm and leg. His mom said if a stranger saw him, they might not know anything had happened, but as his mom, she knows.
The 3-year-old is expected to fully recover after physical therapy.