Zoë Olson after being released from hospital. (Special to The News)

Zoë Olson after being released from hospital. (Special to The News)

B.C. teen develops rare condition after catching COVID

Multi-system inflammatory syndrome, MIS-C, is rare in children, even rarer in adults

When Maple Ridge resident Zoë Olson woke up with body aches on Tuesday, April 27, she thought she was coming down with the flu, but nothing more.

Even so, when the 19-year-old woke up with a fever the next morning, she made her way to the COVID-19 testing sight to make sure.

She got her results from the Centre for Disease Control the following day: negative.

However, her condition went from bad to worse.

“It went from a fever to nauseousness, to extreme body aches, to extreme nauseousness,” explained Olson.

When she woke up Sunday morning she was having a difficult time breathing.

Little did she know she was suffering from a rare complication from COVID-19: multi-system inflammatory syndrome, MIS-C.

“I didn’t really want to take her to the hospital because it was just the flu,” said her father, Joel Olson, explaining that they didn’t think it was anything more because of the negative COVID-19 test.

But on Sunday the heart rate alarm went off on Olson’s smart watch.

Her father asked her what the monitor recorded and Olson said 120 beats per minute. So he double checked her pulse and discovered it was actually at 130 beats per minute.

“She had chest pain, she had trouble breathing, she had a high heart rate, and when I Googled that it said go to the hospital immediately,” he continued.

They went straight to Ridge Meadows Hospital emergency where only Olson was allowed in. There she was given another COVID-19 test and various blood tests and received intravenous fluid. She would have to text her parents periodically to keep them updated to her condition.

“We were lucky because she was able to text us and kind of give us updates. We were pretty, kind of in the loop. But she still had all the IV’s in her arm, she had this huge IV in her neck that went to her heart,” said her father.

“She’s texting that there’s five doctors standing outside my curtain trying to figure out what’s wrong with me,” he added.

Again, her COVID test came back negative.

Then doctors decided to take some X-rays of her organs and discovered they were inflamed.

They thought maybe it was appendicitis, but with her blood pressure being low and her heart rate high, doctors determined her symptoms matched most of the symptoms listed for MIS-C – a condition mostly seen in children who have contracted COVID-19 where, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – different body parts become inflamed including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

The syndrome, rare in children, even more rare in adults, can be serious, even deadly, noted the CDC, but most children who have been diagnosed with this condition have become better with medical care.

Olson was sent to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. Her parents met her as she was being transferred into the ambulance.

RELATED: B.C. nurse 1st in province to die from COVID-19 complications

“We didn’t know at Royal Columbian if we’ld be allowed to see her. We went to the parking lot and stood outside the door so that when they wheeled her out to the ambulance we could see her,” explained her father.

As they watched her go, paramedics turned the lights and sirens on as they headed towards Lougheed Highway on Laity Street.

“That was probably the scariest part,” said Dad, because they weren’t expecting her to be rushed there.

At Royal Columbian, doctors ran more tests, including a test of her antibodies and they figured out that Olson had contracted COVID up to a month before. So they immediately began treating her for MIS-C.

READ MORE: Abbotsford mom who gave birth while in coma after getting COVID-19 is back home

With negative COVID results, her parents were allowed to visit.

“I was pretty tired for most of it. I slept a lot,” said the teen who has since been released from hospital.

They treated her from Sunday to Friday, the first few days in the intensive care unit where she was put on oxygen and hooked up to heart monitors.

“She was pretty drugged up for most of the time I think for the pain,” said her father.

Olson was released from hospital on Friday, May 7, and still feels a little tired and weak.

She is also nervous there will be some long-term effects.

However, doctors are continuing to monitor her to make sure her organs don’t become inflamed again and that her heart is in good shape.

Her next appointment is in two weeks.

When Olson is given the OK she will be getting her vaccine, something she is very much looking forward to.

“Right now since my immune is so down, it wouldn’t be fully effective,” she explained.

And she is encouraging others to get the vaccine as well – to avoid ending up in hospital like she did.


Have a story tip? Email: cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMaple Ridge

 

Zoë Olson and her father Joel Olson, after she was released from hospital. (Special to The News)

Zoë Olson and her father Joel Olson, after she was released from hospital. (Special to The News)

Just Posted

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre. Offices will re-open to the general public on June 21. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville’s city hall offices to open again on June 21

Offices will resume pre-COVID hours of operation

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read