‘I felt tired all the time’: Diabetic HS cheerleader overcomes deadly COVID battle


WARREN, Ohio (WJW) – An Ohio teenager is recovering after a challenging battle with COVID-19 that caused her body to start shutting down.

In a matter of days, a once-healthy honor student and cheerleader was suddenly fighting for her life.

“I just felt achy all over. I didn’t have as big of an appetite as I usually did,” said Sandy Rose, of Warren.

Sandy tested positive for COVID-19 in the spring. At the time, she was a junior at Howland High School.

“I felt tired all the time,” said Sandy.

After Sandy continued to get worse over days, her parents called 911 and she was taken to a hospital emergency room.

“It just kind of brings back some of the emotions of what we went through, what she went through,” said her father, Terry Rose.

He said Sandy floated in and out of consciousness after being transported to the Cleveland Clinic’s intensive care unit. It was there that Sandy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and had experienced diabetic ketoacidosis, which happens when the body can’t produce enough insulin. She also suffered from septic shock due to a previous injury.

These conditions were worsened by COVID-19.

“Her kidneys failed,” her father said. “Obviously, you’re aware that things are really serious. She has this COVID situation, her lungs are getting worse.”

He added, “The main reason they wanted to send her to Cleveland was her liver numbers and that she might need a liver transplant.”

According to her father, doctors said Sandy’s body was shutting down due to the multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition is associated with COVID-19 and causes different body parts to become inflamed.

Once her numbers went down and her condition stabilized, Sandy was taken to a children’s rehabilitation center.

Her father said she wasn’t able to walk or even sit up without assistance.

“It felt like everything got flipped around over one weekend,” said Sandy.

After much rehab and physical therapy, Sandy was able to go home after eight weeks.

“After going through everything, I realized there is so much we don’t know about viruses and new strands of viruses,” said Sandy.

Sandy has since returned to school but is no longer cheerleading.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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