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12-year-old girl on ventilator in MUSC’s ICU for COVID-19

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 3:30 PM EDT
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A 12-year-old from Walterboro is currently on a ventilator at MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in downtown Charleston fighting COVID-19.

Amari Goodwin’s mother, Misty, said her daughter’s symptoms progressed quickly at the beginning of August. The child couldn’t breathe, had a 104 degree fever and was throwing up.

When Misty took her daughter to the urgent care, she was diagnosed with COVID-19, pneumonia and RSV.

“Once she started coughing up blood in her phlegm, I was like no that’s enough,” she said. “That’s when we came to the hospital.”

Watching her daughter struggle day and night since Aug. 5 to fight the virus has been a living nightmare for Misty. She said Amari was admitted to the ICU at MUSC Aug. 11.

“You’re just in there watching her,” she said. “You can’t do nothing to fix it. And then I’m trying to balance all of my kids. Nobody can come see her. It’s just me, her and the machines.”

Dr. Elizabeth Mack with MUSC said there are more patients like Amari coming through the doors. As of Wednesday, she said MUSC has had a total of 180 people under 21-years-old hospitalized for COVID since the beginning of the pandemic.

“[That] has been evenly split for 2020 and 2021,” she said. “However 20 percent of our 2021 numbers have been in August and we’re not done with August. So if that gives you an indication of how quickly we’ve seen the rise over the last month or so. And note that every child hospitalized for COVID or MIS-C has been unvaccinated.”

Misty said Amari is slowly making progress. Doctors are weaning her off the sedation.

“She can open her eyes,” she said. “She’ll squeeze your hand.”

But, Misty said the road to recovery is a long one and said it’s one no child or family should have to face.

“If we don’t protect these kids, no one is going to protect them,” she said. “If you can get vaccinated, I suggest you do it. But you still have to wear your mask. It can happen to anybody. It don’t matter young, old, what color, it doesn’t matter. This virus don’t care. It’s going to hit who it can hit. It’s going to keep going, so we all have to do our part.”

According to Misty, Amari had an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine in August but could not get the vaccine because she was already sick with COVID at that time.

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