Greenville mother speaks out after son spends days in the hospital with COVID-19

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This electron microscope file image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (NIAID/National Institutes of Health via AP)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Cases of children with COVID-19 are on the rise in South Carolina. Now, parents who have watched as their children are hospitalized with the virus are speaking out in hopes it sparks change.

McKenna Ashley spent three days with her son, Legend, in the hospital as he battled COVID-19.

“He was very lethargic, heart rate was at 140, he was running a fever of 102.5,” Ashley said.

They first went to Greer Memorial Hospital.

“They were so overpacked they were seeing people in the lobby,” Ashley said.

They were soon transferred to the children’s unit at Prisma.

“We stayed there for three days, the nurses were assigned, they’re overwhelmed. They’re assigned to so many, there’s not enough nurses for patients,” Ashley said.

She’s home with Legend now recovering.

“He’s doing good now the fever is gone and he’s starting to eat now,” she said.

But wanted people to realize how hard COVID-19 is hitting children right now.

“It is infested, the schools are still open, it’s attacking our children,” Ashley said.

The South Carolina Children’s Hospital Collaborative’s most recent report shows 24 children are hospitalized statewide with COVID-19, four of those are on ventilators. Ashley says it was her son’s nurse who encouraged her to tell his story.

“She said, they reported all the big cities, New York, California, we have those numbers now,” she said.

She believes people have become too comfortable amid the pandemic.

“Now going out in public, going to games doing like it’s not still here and we’re in our highest numbers ever.”

She hopes people will hear her son’s story and take it more seriously.

“When I look at my kids it’s definitely worth it, I would hope when people are looking at their kids it would definitely be worth it too,” Ashley said.

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