BOTHELL, Wash. — Anthony Lawson went from being a healthy 13 year-old, to facing the fight of his life. Doctors say complications from Covid-19 nearly killed the Bothell 8th grader.
Now he’s at home recovering from the devastating illness.
His mom, Theresa Lawson, says the symptoms came on quickly.
“My mom gut was: something is not right,” said Theresa Lawson.
She said it started at the very end of April, Anthony seemed to have allergy symptoms: itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and a headache. Then he got dizzy so they took him to urgent care. Lawson says that Anthony was tested COVID-19 and he didn’t have it.
When he got home he got a rash on his leg. Lawson called urgent care and said they recommended Benedryl.
Late that night Anthony started throwing up. He was lethargic, and his lips and eyes were red.
"I realized then his fingers and hands were ice cold. I started to notice his fingernails were starting to turn blue," said Lawson.
Her husband rushed Anthony to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, while she stayed home with their daughter.
Then her husband called and told her Anthony was in full cardiac arrest, had heart and kidney failure and was transported to Seattle Children’s.
Lawson says for five days Anthony had a fever of 104 - 104.5 F and he suffered hallucinations.
What was a mystery illness became clear to doctors when a blood test showed Anthony had COVID-19 antibodies.
Doctors found he was suffering from Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which presents similar to Kawasaki disease.
“The blood vessels of the heart will become inflamed, they swell, they can develop clots and block blood flow to the heart resulting in a heart attack or even worse,” described cardiologist Michael Portman, who leads the Kawasaki Disease Clinic at Seattle Children’s.
According to the CDC, more than 100 children in the US are believed to be suffering from the syndrome after recovering from the coronavirus.
A drug for Kawasaki disease, called IVIG, saved Anthony's life.
Lawson wants other parents to trust their gut and take their children to the doctor as she did.
"This is such a new disease, so much is being discovered every day and I would surmise there will be other kids like Anthony who don't present in the normal ways," said Lawson.
Anthony is out of the hospital, but has a long recovery ahead which includes many trips back to the hospital to monitor his heart and other organs. Anthony told his mom he’s grateful he survived.
"He said 'I just really feel in my heart that there's a reason I survived and I'm going to go on and do something amazing with my life'." remembered Lawson.
The community will celebrate Anthony’s 14th birthday on May 30, with a parade that will pass by Canyon Park Middle School in Bothell at 2 p.m.
Organizers ask participants to line up at Maywood Hills Elementary School no earlier than 1:30pm. Everyone is instructed to stay in their vehicles, wear masks, and keep a safe distance from Anthony and his family. Organizers say Bothell police will be there to help keep people moving.
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