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

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read