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Parenting: One family's journey with Covid-19

Covid-19 impact on heart
Posted at 3:30 AM, Nov 10, 2020

2020 has not been easy on Karen Fisher and her family.

One child contracted COVID-19, they had to evacuate for Hurricane Laura, returned home, and found their house destroyed.

The odds were stacked against them.

"We found our house not in livable condition," Fisher explained. "We had all of our ceilings fall in from wind and water damage. A week into it we were able to find a place to live while we cleaned out our house. By that time, I had a second child positive with COVID and then a week after that, my third one. They ended up getting it in that time frame and that was not super convenient."

All three children were able to recover from the Coronavirus without running water and electricity.

While that was difficult in itself, Abby Broussard, Karen's daughter, said the after effects of the virus are what really have her down.

"I can't breath as easy and I still get headaches," Broussard said. "I get spontaneous random fevers, every once in a while, and sleep a lot."

A competitive swimmer for years, Broussard said she has always been in shape. Since COVID-19, she cannot even catch her breath going up a flight of stairs.

"I'm not used to being tired going up one flight of stairs," Broussard said. "It's thrown off everything. When I go to school and play tennis....it's just different. I just feel tired and everything is a lot more exhausting than it used to be."

As for her mom, Fisher said her biggest fear is what will happen when Broussard enters the pool for the first time since recovering.

"It's a little scary when it's your children," Fisher said. "They have their whole lives ahead of them and you don't know the long-term effects that it can have on them. All you can do is keep up with what you're hearing and get them checked out as well as you can."

A recent study in JAMA stated that heart damage alone should not be the primary reason to postpone athletic competitions amid the pandemic.

For the full article you can click the link below.


Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Albert Gutierrez said Fisher is right to be concerned.
While there have been some studies done, such as the one above, there are still many unknowns of what lasting impacts the virus can have on the heart.

"For some children, it could be devastating and could induce significant heart failure," Gutierrez said. "We call that cardiomyopathy. That's where the infection significantly overwhelms the heart to pump accurately."

Dr. Gutierrez said his number one goal is to make sure that everything checks out before the child heads back on the field, court, or even in the pool.

"The take home message is that athletes that wish to participate in competitive sports, after a COVID infection, need to be screened with an EKG," Gutierrez said. "They need to have careful evaluation with a lab analysis to see if the inflammatory markers are still present or not."

For Fisher, the concern will remain.

She is a mother after all.

She said she will not stop her daughter from pursuing her dreams, but she will keep a close eye and look for signs that could point to a problem.