HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Much research is underway on long COVID in adults and children. Some trends are emerging like kids don’t have to have a severe infection to get long-term symptoms. An estimated quarter of kids who get COVID have long-term health issues.
Connecticut Children’s is enrolling kids who have had COVID and those who have not to be a part of their study on kids with long COVID.
One participant is 11-year-old Saylor Thavenius of Farmington. Her family got COVID in 2021 with cold-like symptoms. Everyone got better, but for Saylor, that was only the beginning.
The cold-like symptoms disappeared, but that was when 11-year-old Saylor started developing mysterious pains.
“I was just like my shoulder blades and my shoulders, and it just hurt,” Saylor said.
Then more pain, this time on the soles of her feet.
“Like, I just they started hurting when I woke up, and I’m like, mom, were these really my feet really hurt,” Saylor said.
She told News 8 it got worse.
“Then they kept hurting every day. And one day, I just couldn’t walk at all,” Saylor said.
Saylor’s family made her a skateboard with a basket to get around on and carry precious cargo.
She had to attend school virtually.
Her mother says that Saylor also had neurological issues that doctors thought were COVID related.
“She’d have a headache, followed by like a darkness and hearing loss for about 30 seconds, just like light and sound would go down and then lights and sound would go back on, and she’d be left with a headache,” Melanie Thavenius said.
The family is relieved to have found Dr. William Zempsky with Connecticut Children’s.
The facility has a long COVID clinic and has now started a pediatric long COVID study.
“Some of the kids come to my clinic where I see a lot of kids with pain and fatigue,” according to Zempsky, who heads up the children’s division of pain and palliative medicine.
Zempsky has been treating children with COVID for three years.
“They mostly complain of fatigue, dizziness is a big complaint, pain. I’ve also had kids with hair loss, kids who have tingling and numbness, so a variety of symptoms,” Zempsky said.
Saylor is now feeling better.
“My feet haven’t really hurt recently, so I feel pretty good,” she said.
Connecticut Children’s is actively looking for kids who have had COVID and those who have not taken part in its study.