The family of a teenage girl has made a devastating discovery after she was hospitalised with Covid-19 just weeks before Christmas.
Ariel Griffith, 13, was living a happy and healthy life in the US state of South Carolina, her mother Lauren Hocin told WMBF News.
But when she was taken to hospital in early December after she started having breathing issues, her life was quickly turned upside down.
Her stepfather had already tested positive for Covid-19 and the family assumed she had also contracted the virus. Her symptoms, including immense pain, worsened as medical staff tried to figure out what was wrong with her.
Soon after that doctors revealed in addition to Covid-19, she also has leukemia.
Understandably, the news rocked the family.
“The news took the breath straight from my lungs. Our hearts are in pieces,” wrote a family member on a GoFundMe page.
Her story made national headlines when it was featured on Today.
“I can’t wait to show her when she wakes up,” he mum wrote on Facebook on Sunday, where she shared an update on her daughter’s condition.
“She’s a little swollen today because of the chemo but it’s doing its job flushing out the cancer from her blood. This is putting some stress on her lungs so I pray that calms in the next few days,” she said.
“She also had another blood transfusion today to help her blood cells but overall, nothing alarming. Just so much going on all at once for her to bounce back from but I’m being told she’s a tough cookie.”
Mum grateful for doctor’s act
Ms Hocin has been posting updates of her daughter’s condition on the GoFundMe page. While she says “sadness has definitely taken over” she remains thankful to a doctor who insisted on not writing off her symptoms as manifestations of Covid-19.
“I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that doctor,” she told Today.
“Instead of saying your lymph nodes are swollen because of coronavirus, she insisted on a blood test. It came back that her white blood cell count was very low along with platelets and she was sent to the emergency room.”
On Facebook, she said she has been meeting others parents and children who have gone through a similar experience.
“I have talked to so many survivors, it’s so encouraging. I have also spoken to those that have lost.
“I feel this is part of a bigger purpose. Ariel getting chemo during her fight with COVID seems to be rare,” she said, but lamented that other children in the country have not been so lucky to receive the medical treatment they ultimately required.
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