8-year-old son with mysterious illness had fever then went into cardiac arrest, dad says

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CBS — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is likely to issue a nationwide alert this week to help track a mystery illness impacting children across the United States. The illness, what many are calling “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome,” is believed to be related to COVID-19.  

Jayden Hardowar, an eight-year-old in Queens, New York, who battled the condition, first came down with a fever three weeks ago. His father, Roup, said Jayden had no other symptoms until a few days later, when he went into cardiac arrest, CBS New York reports.

“He called, ‘Mommy,’ he turned to his side, and he never respond anymore,” Hardowar said. 

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Roup HardowarCBS NEW YORK

Jayden’s brother administered CPR, likely saving his life. 

Coronavirus: The Race To Respond 

He was rushed to Cohen Children’s Medical Center, where he would spend the next two weeks sedated and isolated from his family. 

“As long as they were getting a heartbeat and getting a pulse, I think that was enough to give me confidence he was gonna come back,” Hardowar said.

Jayden was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday evening and is now recovering at home. 

He tested negative for the coronavirus, but tested positive for the antibody.

“It seems to be actually a post-infectious syndrome, where the immune system is hyperactive and it leads to inflammation of the heart muscle or the arteries of the body,” said Dr. James Schneider, of Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

There are now more than 150 children nationwide affected by the illness. On Tuesday in New York City, there were 14 new cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, a nearly 40% jump in just 24 hours. Three children in New York have died from it.

“Parents around the state and around the country are very concerned about this and they should be,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The governor ordered hospitals to prioritize COVID-19 testing for children displaying the symptoms, which are similar to Kawasaki disease.

Symptoms include: 

  • Fever 
  • Whole body rash 
  • Bright red eyes 
  • Swollen lymph nodes, feet and hands 
  • Red, cracked lips 
  • Extreme headache 
  • Sometimes breathing difficulty 

Not all children will display all the symptoms, but if they’re experiencing any, doctors advise bringing the child to a pediatrician right away.

First published on May 13, 2020 / 9:39 AM

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