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Mont. boy, 13, suffers COVID-19 symptoms, including heart problems, for months

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 4:13 AM MST
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MISSOULA, Mont. (KECI) - Months after contracting COVID-19, a 13-year-old boy from Montana is considered a “long-hauler,” as he continues to experience symptoms from the illness, including heart issues, muscle weakness and trouble breathing.

It’s been months of agony for 13-year-old Hudson Beard, who contracted COVID-19 in November. He hasn’t been to school since and continues to experience symptoms, many severe, from the illness.

“It is hard,” Hudson said. “It’s really hard when doctors don’t have an answer, and they’re like, ‘Well, over time let’s see what happens, and you might get better. We don’t know.’”

Hudson Beard, 13, continues to experience symptoms after contracting COVID-19 in November....
Hudson Beard, 13, continues to experience symptoms after contracting COVID-19 in November. Those include heart issues, trouble breathing, continuous migraines and gastrointestinal problems.(Source: Lisa Beard, KECI via CNN)

In December, doctors diagnosed Hudson with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a disorder that causes his heart rate to jump when he stands. He gets a vertigo-like dizziness every time he stands up or does basic tasks like reading or watching television.

Since then, his symptoms have only become more severe, sending him to a Colorado hospital for new problems discovered in his heart.

“My coronary heart arteries are dilated, both of them,” Hudson said.

“His heart, we didn’t catch that for two months,” said Lisa Beard, Hudson’s mom. “So, now we’re dealing with a coronary issue that we don’t know if it will resolve.”

Hudson also has new trouble breathing, continuous migraines, gastrointestinal problems and issues with the left side of his body, like he suffered a stroke.

“He has a lot of muscle weakness, and there’s been a lot of atrophy on his entire left side,” Beard said. “So, the rehab is the same as if he had had a stroke.”

Hudson now has a dedicated team of doctors and specialists supporting him and his family through their journey, but they’re still desperate for answers and healing.

“I was wondering why I have all these symptoms and a new one pops up every, like, two weeks and why no doctors can explain it,” Hudson said.

Hudson has a new pet tortoise that helps him pass time during the days, along with listening to audiobooks. Until more answers come, his days will continue to include doctors’ appointments and tests while his parents do whatever they can think of to get him on the road to recovery.

“A lot of people really do not understand how dramatic the effects of COVID are on children,” Beard said. “A lot of times, we want to protect the most vulnerable, the small under 1 and the elderly, but Hudson was a thriving, very active 13-year-old and the rest of my family recovered, and he has not.”

Doctors say there’s much more heart involvement in people who have had COVID-19 than they originally thought. One study used cardiac MRIs on 100 patients recovering from the virus, showing cardiac involvement in 78 of the patients and myocardial inflammation in 60.

If you’ve had COVID-19 and are feeling chest pains or palpitations, it’s a good idea to call your doctor.

For kids who have had COVID-19, even without major symptoms, doctors recommend a screening before returning to physical exercise or sports.

Copyright 2021 KECI via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.