'She was in absolute pain': Toddler recovering after COVID-19 diagnosis

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Natalie Green suffered multiple febrile seizures after developing COVID-19. (Image via TODAY/Courtesy of Green Family).

A Colorado child is on the mend after suffering multiple febrile seizures due to COVID-19.

Clara Green said her one-year-old daughter Natalie has spent most of her life in and out of hospitals due to asthma and the flu.

Green’s husband Beau was diagnosed with COVID-19 — but even though the Greens say their daughter had been a “sickly child,” they didn’t think the novel coronavirus would impact her.

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Clara and Beau Green with their children. Their 1-year-old daughter, Natalie, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and experienced multiple, febrile seizures. (Image via TODAY/Courtesy of Green Family).

“We just told the doctors, ‘Hey we have a one-year-old who just doesn’t do well with viruses. Is (COVID-19) something we need to worry about?’” Green said in an interview with TODAY. “And they reassured us, ‘No, she’ll be fine. Kids aren’t affected that we know of.’”

So when Natalie came down with a fever, the parents assumed she was teething.

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Green treated Natalie’s fever, but soon the toddler began convulsing, and experienced a febrile seizure due to a spike in body temperature. The Greens called 911.

“She had five or six seizures, which she never had before, and then she was not responsive after,” Green said.

Paramedics were informed beforehand that Beau tested positive for COVID-19 and were required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering the house.

“I felt so bad. My daughter was needing immediate attention and care and they couldn’t even come into our house,” Green recalled. “They were really concerned and we were scared.”

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Once they arrived at Children’s Hospital Colorado, doctors began running tests on Natalie and took the toddler for a chest X-ray. According to Green, the hospital didn’t have any COVID-19 tests, but when Natalie’s test results came back negative for other viruses, the family was told by doctors that she was most likely experiencing complications due to the novel coronavirus. Green said, doctors told her they had yet to see any reports of children experiencing febrile seizures to the virus.

Doctors gave Green instructions on how to care for Natalie and discharged her, explaining that the toddler “would be safer at home.”

Although the seizures stopped and Natalie never experienced a cough or runny nose, Green said her daughter experienced terrible body aches that no medication could help ease.

Natalie Green was diagnosed with COVID-19, and experienced multiple febrile seizures. (Image via TODAY/Courtesy of Green Family).

“Miserable isn’t even the word to describe it. It was like absolutely inconsolable miserable crying,” she explained. “She was just in absolute pain, which was super sad to see. There’s nothing you can do for the body aches and the rundown feeling.”

Within a few days, Natalie’s fever subsided and there was a noticeable change in her temperament, Green said her daughter is “happy” again. While she’s thankful that her daughter is showing signs of improvement, she has become increasingly worried for her husband Beau who, “hasn’t shown that he’s getting better.”

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The stress on Green has taken its toll. While her five-year-old seems “completely unaffected” and hasn’t shown any symptoms, doctors believe Green may actually have the virus herself. Green said she “hasn’t slept in 10 days” but wanted to share her story so that people understand the importance of social distancing.

“We were taking precautions but we were not those people that locked ourselves in the house immediately,” Green said. “How quickly and how fast it hit my family and affected my child was basically my reason for posting that. If I had a message it is that it can happen to you, too. Let’s just be smart.”

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