OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma City family is describing the last two weeks as a “nightmare” as their nephew, Ira Jackson, 1, has been hospitalized with COVID-19.
“It’s unreal… I just can’t believe it,” said Sandra Jackson, Ira’s aunt. “I’m sad for my brother and his family. I can’t imagine what they’re going through. Ira is so fun and spunky and runs and smiles, and to see him, you know, sitting there with tubes on him and not being able to talk or move, and just watching the family go through it emotionally is just a nightmare.”
The Jacksons believe Ira’s older sister exposed him to COVID-19 when she battled the virus herself a few weeks ago. For Ira, the sickness started off as a high fever.
“He was given Tylenol for that time being, and it was not better,” said Jackson. “He was non-responsive, just kind of in a glare, in a daze.”
So, the Jacksons rushed Ira to the hospital where doctors soon discovered the one-year-old had COVID-19 and suffered multiple strokes.
“COVID-19 leads to hyper inflammation, which can cause inflammation, even within the vessels, which can lead to strokes and clotting,” explained Dr. Donna Tyungu, a Pediatrics Specialist at OU Health. “I would say it’s probably more common in adults, in adult patients, but we absolutely do see it in pediatric patients.”
A surgery to relieve the pressure on Ira’s brain was successful, but his family says he has a long road ahead of him to fully recover.
Jackson said her nephew still can’t raise his hands or move his head but is able to move his legs “a little bit” and swallow.
The family hopes that by sharing Ira’s story that people will take the virus for people of all ages, including those like Ira, who can’t get vaccinated yet.
“At first I thought he would be okay because he was a child and they’re resilient, but that wasn’t the case,” said Jackson. “You just never know whether you’re healthy, old, young…”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Ira’s medical expenses.