A six-year-old girl nearly died after a suspected case of mild chickenpox turned out to be a reaction to coronavirus.
Millie Denver began feeling unwell on 12 December, but her mother believed she had contracted chicken pox since three other children in her class had caught the bug.
Soon afterward she reported feeling ill, Millie developed spots, began to look pale and started vomiting.
Two days later her temperature had returned to normal but was complaining of feeling tired and was still being sick.
Her mother Elizabeth Denver called a GP on Tuesday and was advised to take Millie into hospital as soon as possible.
Millie was transferred from Worthing Hospital in West Sussex to Southampton Hospital where she was placed in an induced coma.
Hospital staff told Elizabeth that Millie had a condition called Pims TS, a reaction to COVID-19 which she must have carried a couple of weeks before with no symptoms.
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Elizabeth said: “I was really freaking out. We had no idea she had carried COVID.
“Until she got sick on Saturday 12 she had been completely normal, and she’s a really active little girl. She had been going to school and doing everything she usually did.”
Blood tests revealed Millie’s liver and kidneys were struggling, and she was on fluids within a couple hours of arriving.
Elizabeth added: “At first they could see that she had an infection somewhere but they couldn’t work it out. They hadn’t seen this before.
“The Pims ts attacks all the organs and bone marrow, her kidneys were very damaged. Only 5% of children who carry Covid get Pims TS.
Two days after being placed in the coma Millie was able to breathe independently by Thursday night and doctors tried to wake her but her kidneys were still struggling and she didn’t wake properly.
She was moved to a high dependency unit for Friday, to a ward on the Saturday, and back to Worthing on the evening of the following Tuesday 22 December.
Millie was home for Christmas the following and has recovered quickly and fully with the help of physiotherapy.
Elizabeth said: “It was a heartbreaking relief to hear her laughing with her sisters on Christmas Eve.
“Worthing hospital discharged her from their care on 30 December, it all started to sink in and I just sat and sobbed.
“We walk past parks full of kids playing together. No one knows Covid can be so bad for them.”
Watch: Can you catch the coronavirus twice?