A YOUNG boy with sickle cell anemia is close to a full coronavirus recovery — after he received three blood transfusions.
Nasir Striggs, seven, was hospitalized in early April after his mom noticed he was having trouble breathing, according to WBAL-TV news station.
The boy’s mom, Deshannon Striggs, said Nasir tested positive for coronavirus — and an X-ray showed he had developed pneumonia in both of his lungs.
Nasir, from Baltimore County, Maryland, was at a higher risk of contracting the virus because of sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell is one of the most common inherited blood disorders, affecting about 100,000 Americans, most of them black, and about 300 million people worldwide.
The hallmark of the disease is periodic episodes in which red blood cells stick together, blocking blood from reaching organs and small blood vessels.
That causes intense pain and cumulative organ damage that shortens the lives of people with the disease.
WBAL reported Nasir needed three blood transfusions, which his mom said was frightening.
“He had to keep getting stuck by the needle because the needle kept coming out,” the boy’s mom told the news station.
“To watch him go through that, it was really scary.”
She said that throughout his treatment, she received a lot of positive thoughts and prayers, kept telling herself: “Just keep the faith. That’s the message — keep the faith.”
Now, Nasir is home and recovering, and doctors say the seven-year-old is doing well.
Dr Yoram Unguru, of Sinai Hospital where Nasir was hospitalized, said: “It seems to present more of a challenge from a respiratory standpoint in these kids."
"We know from data, patients with sickle cell do tend to get sicker if they get contract the COVID virus."
Unguru said that “taking care of a kid with COVID is not easy."
"Starting IV lines when the kid is sick is really hard. Recognizing the importance that we needed to adhere always to the standard of care, but think outside the box and not just jump to wanting to put on a ventilator, which has consequences," he said.
Nasir is one of more than 1,240,600 people who have tested positive for the virus in the US.
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