A British teen diagnosed with a COVID-19-related inflammatory disorder developed severe neurological conditions that left her with a “completely different personality”
Nia Haughton, 15, first experienced symptoms in early April when, for about 10 days straight, she had a cough and a high temperature. When her mother Justina Ward began to deteriorate, she called paramedics.
According to NBC News, she was quickly admitted to a top hospital for children in London after doctors recognised that her illness was complex and advanced.
She soon started to exhibit signs of coronavirus and was sedated and placed in an intensive care unit on a ventilator, where she remained for two weeks.
She was placed 16 hours a day in a “prone” position-laying on her front allowing maximum ventilation to the back of the lungs. During this time an anaesthesiologist examined Nia.
Eventually Nia started recovering and a ventilator was taken off-but her condition worsened several days after this, and she began to experience neurological symptoms.
Nia started hallucinating, saying she could see and hear people who weren’t there inside the hospital.
“I couldn’t tell what was real,” Nia told NBC. “It was really scary. I could hear voices. It was very traumatic.”
“I don’t know which was scarier, her being on the ventilator not being able to breathe, or the fact that she came out of it with a completely different personality,” said Ms Ward, Nia’s mother.
Dr Lim, who has experience with inflammatory disorders in the childhood, said that COVID-19 has never been diagnosed with Nia.
But he had seen patients who had a similar “COVID image” of symptoms and who had tested coronavirus positive.
“We worry that the long-term effect would be in essentially brain growth,” he said.
Dr Lim diagnosed Nia’s neurological symptoms as a COVID-19-linked late-onset, secondary inflammatory disorder.
He said he and his colleagues concentrate on the effect coronavirus has on kids.