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‘A long road’: MIS-C takes toll on Omaha family

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 9:02 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - According to the CDC, more than 3 million kids have tested positive for COVID-19, but many of them never showed any symptoms. Just like the virus, doctors don’t know what that could mean for those kids’ future.

One Omaha-metro family is now dealing with the ramifications of their child’s COVID-19 exposure.

“We’ve really just kind of limited our interactions with people.”

For the family of five, plus one furry family member, spending a long, cold winter cooped up inside risking boredom beat the alternative. It was a normal pandemic home — until it wasn’t.

“His fever just kind of kept coming.”

For five days, 10-year-old Paxton’s condition went from bad to worse.

“All of a sudden, like, my heart just kind of sank.”

After taking Paxton to the ER at Children’s Hospital, the diagnosis became clear: multi-inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.

Family physician Dr. Brent Holmquist told 6 News just how serious MIS-C can get: “Fevers, body aches, abdominal pain, uh, vomiting, uh, red eyes.”

He’s Paxton’s dad — and mom is a nurse.

“When your people are taking care of your people — your children — it kind of breaks your heart,” said Melissa Holmquist, Paxton’s mother.

MIS-C often occurs after exposure to COVID-19, which Paxton had in October. But the fourth-grader was 100% asymptomatic. Now, months later, he was fighting for his life.

“About half an hour later, your kid’s getting transferred to the ICU — you know your kid’s kind of tanking,” Melissa Holmquist said.

Twenty-four hours of round-the-clock supervision, and Paxton finally started to respond to treatment.

“We got lucky with this one,” his mother said.

Nationwide, a little more than 2,000 MIS-C cases have been reported, and 30 of those children have died. But those numbers are rising, and that’s why the Holmquist family said they wanted to share their story and make others fully aware of the symptoms of this deadly syndrome.

Six long days later, Paxton was healthy enough to go home.

“I was happy I wasn’t in there for such a long time,” the boy said.

Nearly one year into this pandemic, and the Holmquist household won’t be returning to normal anytime soon.

“It’s still gonna be a long road with him.”

So much about MIS-C remains a mystery, including long-term effects. That’s an unsettling feeling for this family.

“Just a little layer of worry about like the future and hoping nothing else pops up because we don’t know.”

But they’re happy to have a future together as a family.

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