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

Outdoor vendors at the Cloverdale Flea Market are seen in this bird’s eye view image from the flea market’s Facebook page.
Cloverdale Flea Market to reopen

Market to open June 20 after being closed since Nov. 2020

Rahim Manji owns and operates the Hollywood 3 Cinemas in Newton, along with the Caprice in South Surrey, a theatre in Duncan and another in Pitt Meadows. “I think right now it feels different than last June, it just does,” Manji said. “I’m a lot more optimistic, with more people calling, more people out and getting vaccinated, so I think the comfort level is a lot better.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey movie theatre operators reopen and rejoice, even with 50-max capacity

‘We have been one of the hardest-hit industries’

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police searching for Surrey woman missing at Centennial Beach

Wenyan Lan, 54, reported missing when she didn’t come home from a crabbing/clam digging trip June 14

Popular event/party band March Hare will appear in an online streamed performance Friday (June 18) featuring their salute to music of the `60s and `70s as part of BEC Entertainment’s Grand Summer Virtual Concert series. (Contributed photo)
White Rock-based BEC Entertainment continues Friday-night virtual concerts

March Hare and California Surf Incorporated featured

Ian MacDonald, spokesman for Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service launches public consultation campaign

This is to help the SPS form its first strategic plan

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read