Kids and long haul COVID: Sioux Falls family shares journey

Kids and long haul COVID: Sioux Falls family shares journey
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 9:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Before the fall of 2020, Anna Burt had a normal life.

“Regular kid doing regular kid things, playing basketball, going skiing, you know, riding her bike,” said Mom Jody Burt.

She became sick and was not recovering. Her first COVID test was negative. Doctors now believe that was a false negative.

“I kept getting better, and then I would get sick again,” said Anna.

Christmas day 2020, she felt worse than ever.

“It was a real sucky present! Wish I could return it,” said Anna.

Her parents kept looking for answers.

“Heartbreaking as a parent to watch and feel like you weren’t doing anything,” said Jody.

The hardest times were alone in the hospital

“I would look in the mirror and cry. I saw IV. I saw me in there. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be home,” said Anna.

A contact at the University of Minnesota Hopsital brought hope.

“Infectious disease director that was working on the long COVID pediatric cases,” said Jody.

“Finally, we had someone that was familiar with it and could start to help. The theory is that it’s your immune system is messed up and trying to still fight the virus,” said Dad Jeremy Burt.

And the list of COVID-related illnesses for Anna is long, including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic migraines, and more.

“Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. She has chronic fatigue syndrome she has chronic pain,” said Jody.

And the health team was glad that Mom advocated for her daughter.

“Because they said a lot of times they don’t see patients like Anna until it three years down the road,” said Jody.

Anna became sick before the vaccine. Her parents wished it would have been available.

“As a parent, I would do that one hundred percent,” said Jody.

Between the ages of 10 to 12, Anna gained a mature perspective.

“Focusing on what you can’t do doesn’t really do anything except make you depressed. I have learned that,” said Anna.

Doctors expect her to recover in small steps.