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Girl, 12, struggles with long-haul COVID for more than a year

Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 3:08 AM CDT
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) - A 12-year-old girl from North Carolina has lingering effects from COVID-19 after contracting it last fall, including fatigue, fevers and memory loss. Her mother is sharing her story as she calls for vaccinations and other measures to fight the pandemic.

More than a year after 12-year-old Wednesday Lynch contracted COVID-19, she still has lingering effects from the virus. She was active and healthy before she was diagnosed last September.

“It’s really disheartening. It really is because I know she’s tired of it, and she just wants to be normal again,” said Wednesday’s mother, Melissa Lynch.

More than a year after 12-year-old Wednesday Lynch contracted COVID-19, she still has lingering...
More than a year after 12-year-old Wednesday Lynch contracted COVID-19, she still has lingering effects from the virus. These include fatigue, fever, pain, seizures and cognitive problems.(Source: Family photos, WTVD via CNN)

Lynch says her daughter has problems with her blood pressure and heart rate due to long-haul COVID. She also has cognitive problems, including brain fog, memory loss and confusion, which have caused issues with learning.

She has returned to school but has already missed about 16 days this school year due to health issues, her mother says.

Wednesday lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, and travels to the University of North Carolina’s COVID Recovery Clinic in Chapel Hill about once a month. She is the youngest patient there.

Dr. John Baratta, the founder and co-director of the clinic, adds that Wednesday has been struggling with fatigue, fevers, rashes, pain and even seizures. He says the clinic was initially geared toward adults because it was thought they were most likely to have lingering issues after getting COVID.

But he now worries more children will start experiencing symptoms of long-haul COVID.

“I am concerned that there could be a new wave in the coming months of people who have lingering effects from COVID-19, specifically the Delta wave,” Baratta said.

Data is not conclusive about how many children will get long-haul COVID, but most studies show it’s between 4 and 14%.

Wednesday’s mom does outreach for a group called Long COVID Kids to help other parents going through the same situation.

“We cannot beat this pandemic with vaccination alone. Masks and other pandemic mitigations have to go with it,” Lynch said.

Baratta also encourages COVID-19 vaccinations for parents and eligible children.

Copyright 2021 WTVD via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.