4-Year-Old Paralyzed After COVID-19 Battle Causes Spinal infection

4-Year-Old Paralyzed After COVID-19 Battle Causes Spinal infection

A 4-year-old has been left paralyzed after a battle with COVID-19 left her with spinal column inflammation.

Stella Martin was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico, in April 2020 after complaining of back pain. The girl’s mother, Cassandra Yazzie, said that the girl ran to her before going limp in her arms.

From San Juan Regional, Stella was airlifted to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque, where doctors diagnosed her with COVID-19 before discovering that she had acute transverse myelitis. According to the Merck Manual, the disease is classified as an acute inflammation of gray and white matter in one or more adjacent spinal cord segments. This was the first time that doctors at UNMH had seen a child with the coronavirus-related case of the spinal infection. After completing her stay at Carrie Tingley Hospital, Stella spent the next eight months in the hospital, spending the first five in UNM. Sadly, while the girl was hospitalized, her father died from COVID-19.

On Monday, she received an ovation from the medical staff as she finally left to go home.

“I am so grateful for the staff at UNM, the doctors, the chiefs, the nurses. They’ve done a lot for Stella. We thank them all,” Yazzie told KOAT.

The doctors treating Stella believe that she will likely remain paralyzed. However, her mother says that her condition has improved, with Stella moving her arms slightly. Yazzie pleaded with everyone to “not take COVID lightly” after seeing the toll that it has taken on her family.

COVID-19 has been known to cause a hyper-immune response in children, which is what caused the inflammation in Stella’s spinal cord.

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