A 10-year-old boy with autism was forced to amputate his leg due to a complication from COVID-19, now faces yet another amputation of his remaining leg.
In December, Dae’Shun Jamison was diagnosed with COVID-19 but now is fighting the rare condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, which affects some children with COVID-19.
Dae’Shun’s mom took him to the hospital after he developed a high fever on December 21 in Shelby, Michigan.
Brittney Autman, Dae’Shun’s mom, said he “did not have one symptom” prior to getting headaches on December 20. But the very next day, he was admitted to the hospital with a temperature of 103 degrees.
Doctors diagnosed him with MIS-C, a rare condition in which different parts of the body can become inflamed — which includes “the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal (gut) pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired,” the agency’s website stated.
And while it is not clear what exactly causes the condition, many children who develop it “had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19.”
Dr. Rosemary Olivero, pediatric infectious diseases physician and division chief at Spectrum Health, revealed to Fox 17 how MIS-C usually develops two to eight weeks post-infection, but Dae’Shun had no symptoms of COVID-19. The symptoms from MIS-C started to show after an infection period of two weeks.
Doctors at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital informed Dae’Shun’s family that his case of MIS-C was the worst they’d ever seen –as out of 5,000 children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at the hospital, only 21 have developed MIS-C.
“There’s thought that there could be a genetic trigger, but we just don’t know yet what that genetic trigger is or if it affects some populations more than others,” Olivero explained. “We’ve seen MIS-C happen to children of all pediatric ages, races, and genders as well. So there’s still quite a bit that we are learning.”
On Christmas Eve, the little boy was put on a ventilator as his heart was so overworked and his organs were shutting down. In addition, he was also placed on dialysis and was hooked up to an ECMO machine that helped put oxygen in his blood — but while he was intubated, soon lost circulation in his hands and feet.
“They say don’t question God, but I don’t understand, why my son?” Autman shared. “I wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone else’s child, but why me?”
As his body fought to survive — fluid proceeded to build up in his legs. The damage to his legs became too severe, and his doctors decided that the only way to save him was to amputate, telling his family that he has no feeling or movement in his legs. Originally, the plan was to amputate both legs at the same time. “Because of his autism he has no clue on what’s going to happen,” his mom wrote on a GoFundMe page. But on January 14, that all changed.
“He will be getting his right leg amputated but they are waiting to do his left leg because it’s not as bad as the right,” she wrote. “They are hoping that they can save [the] majority of his left leg and maybe even half of his foot.” But sadly, they will still need to amputate the left leg and the hospital left her to explain the news to her son.
“He understood everything,” she wrote. “He understood that when he wakes up his leg will not look the same. Dae’Shun completely broke down in tears which affected me in so many ways, I can’t believe this is really happening to my baby.”
She then posted in an update to GoFundMe: “Dae’Shun is out of the O.R.,” his mother wrote. “His stump is healing really good, at some point a skin graft will still have to be done but not right now. Once his stump heals then the surgeon will see how to go about his left leg but they are just focusing on the right side right now.”
The family has since raised more than $44,000 toward Dae’Shun’s medical bills, but Autman is still attempting to juggle life with her son’s changing health. The mother reveals how she has been unable to work while spending her time at the hospital with her sick son while also caring for her 7-year-old daughter.
“It was really hard. I just think about like, once it’s done, what will his life be afterwards? He likes to play soccer, and he likes to do things. And it’s just hard,” she shared. She said she hopes Dae’Shun will one day walk again with the help of prosthetics.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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