Photo: Sebastiao Moreira / EFE
A 13-year-old boy with a progressive lifelong condition has returned home after weeks in hospital with Covid.
Seth Burke contracted the virus just days after becoming the first wheelchair user to be a member of the UK Youth Parliament for Wales.
He is more vulnerable to the effects due to his condition and has been fighting for his life in intensive care.
Seth said he didn’t want anyone else to go through this “terrifying” experience and urged people to get vaccinated.
seth has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which made his treatment for covid more complex.
He tested positive for Covid on December 13 and started to get worse a few days later when his temperature went up and he felt really bad.
He was taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and, after his condition deteriorated further, he was admitted to intensive care, where he was put on non-invasive ventilation to help him breathe.
On Christmas day, his parents prepared for the worst when his lung collapsed, but he recovered and finally returned home a few days ago.
Seth said the whole situation was “pretty scary.”
“I didn’t really know what was going on at the time, it’s a bit of a blur,” he said.
“There were a lot of machines and beeps. They were very loud, they weren’t very nice, and I just wanted to go home.”
Seth’s mother and father, Lisa and John Burke, said they had had to face the prospect of losing him.
“I think that early Christmas morning when I had to call Lisa and tell her that it had really gone downhill, I was really scared,” says the father.
“All these things go through your mind and there is a possibility that you will lose it.”
“Fortunately, he had the full support of the doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit, who were really brilliant, and we managed to pull it off.”
“I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.”
By New Year’s Day, Seth had recovered and was out of the intensive care unit and back in a hospital room playing games and watching television.
However, you will feel the impact of covid for some time. His parents said that he is much weaker and gets very tired.
His lungs need to be repaired and he has ventilation support to help him breathe at night.
Seth will also not be able to join his friends at school just yet due to fears of other strains of the virus. You will have your first dose of the vaccine next month.
John Burke called his son a “true fighter” and added: “I’m incredibly proud of him.
“I know adult patients who wouldn’t last half as long.”
“He’s really tough, really strong, he always has a smile on his face and he just wants to crack a joke and have a chat with people.”
The family will now have late Christmas celebrations. You can finally open your presents together and have a real dinner.
Seth said he hopes his story is an impactful message.
“I don’t want anyone to get as sick as I do and I want people to be well,” he said.
“If you don’t feel well, get tested, and if you can get vaccinated, get vaccinated.”
“Children can get Covid. I know people say they can’t, but they definitely can and I know because I’ve had it.”
“I want to thank all the doctors and nurses who have helped me get better.”
“I have had very good care, they have made me feel much better and all the doctors and nurses are very kind.”
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.