Mother of Texas Child Hospitalized with COVID Shares Experience

COVID Patient 3
Image by CBS Dallas

For weeks, ICU beds in pediatric wards have been reducing due to the increase in hospitalizations caused by the COVID-19 Delta variant. As the variant spread rapidly among children, the area pediatric ICUs were pushed to capacity. A family from Cedar Hill shared their story after she and her children contracted the virus.

“It’s very real, and it’s terrifying,” said Amanda Reaves, mother of two. “Once we got moved to the ICU, that’s when it really hit,” she continued.

According to Reaves, it all started one night during dinner, when she suddenly lost her sense of taste. She went for a COVID-19 test even though her children were supposed to start the new school year the following day. The test revealed that both she and her son, an 8-year old, were positive. Her 10-year-old daughter Mackylah also contracted the virus, but it took several tests and worsening symptoms before she was diagnosed. Her son, on the other hand, was asymptomatic.

At some point, Mackylah found it hard to breathe, and her doctor recommended going to the hospital. While the family began receiving immediate care at the hospital, no beds were available in the ICU.

Reaves described those moments. “To see all the machines going, the oxygen in her nose, not being able to sit up, not being able to eat because she’s so dehydrated,” she said as she relived the experience.

The 10-year-old with autism told CBS 11 that the battle to survive COVID-19 was a difficult and traumatizing one. She added that aside from the fact that she found it “hard to breathe,” she was “losing her balance,” and she had to deal with “lots of needles and machines.”

Mackylah is not fully recovered, but her mother wants to warn others as she feels that is the least she can do to repay the doctors and nurses who attended to her family and took care of her daughter. “It’s just terrifying, a really awful experience, and I don’t wish that on anyone,” she warns.

Reaves further asks that all schools mandate masks. “I can’t imagine subjecting another family to go through what we just went through, and if a mask is going to help prevent that, or a vaccine is going to help prevent that, just do it,” she said. While her family was exposed before the reopening of schools, she believes it is necessary to keep the kids safe.

The Texan News reported that “From the beginning of this school year to the end of September, 1.89 percent of students at schools with mask mandates have tested positive, compared to 2.93 percent of students at schools without mask mandates.” Meaning schools with mask mandates had less than a one percent decrease in their COVID-19 positivity rate.

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