A schoolgirl was left fighting for her life after her "chicken pox" turned out to be a reaction to Covid-19 she didn't know she'd had.
Six-year-old Millie Denver started feeling unwell on December 12, not too long after three children in her class at school had been struck down with chicken pox.
Millie's mum, Elizabeth, said her daughter looked pale and had gotten a few spots to start with, but then her temperature skyrocketed to 39.9 degrees and she started feeling nauseous, before vomiting.
Two days later, her temperature had returned to normal, but she was still being sick and was crying with pain.
Elizabeth, 36, said she grew concerned that the spots she thought were chicken pox were not blistering – and called her GP on Tuesday morning.
She was then advised to call for an ambulance, and when a paramedic rang back she was told to take little Millie into hospital, as the wait for an ambulance would be long.
Millie was admitted to Worthing hospital and transferred in an induced coma to Southampton hospital around 9pm on Tuesday December 15.
She remained in the coma for two days.
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Elizabeth and partner, Glen, 40, were told Millie had a condition called Pims TS, a reaction to Covid-19 which she must have carried a couple of weeks before with no symptoms.
Elizabeth said: “I was really freaking out. My mum is a nurse, and when I phoned her from the hospital to tell her what was happening she started crying, then I knew things were really serious.
“Before they put her in the coma Glen asked if she could die, and the nurse said it wasn’t looking good but couldn’t actually say.
“We had no idea she had carried Covid."
She continued: "All her symptoms were consistent with chicken pox, one of her sisters vomits whenever she has a temperature, but when the spots didn’t start blistering it worried me.
“She was in so much pain in the car you couldn’t touch her.
“I had to carry her into the hospital and hold her up, because she had gone all floppy.”
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Elizabeth explained staff at Worthing hospital couldn’t make sense of Millie’s symptoms at first.
Her tongue had gone a thick white colour shortly before they arrived at the hospital, which is usually consistent with a throat infection, but her throat was fine.
Blood tests revealed Millie’s liver and kidneys were struggling, and she was on fluids within a couple hours of arriving.
Elizabeth explained: “At first they could see that she had an infection somewhere but they couldn’t work it out, they hadn’t seen this before.
“The Pims TS attacks all the organs and bone marrow, her kidneys were very damaged, only 5 per cent of children who carry Covid get Pims TS."
“Her heart rate was really high and they said South Hampton hospital were coming to collect her, to put her to sleep to give her organs a rest and help her body recover, and transfer her there, that’s when I called Glen to come.
“When they transferred her she was asleep, with tubes everywhere, and strapped to a trolley."
She added: “I wasn’t allowed to travel in the ambulance with her because of Covid, I just couldn’t deal with it, I needed to be with her.”
Elizabeth stayed in South Hampton for eight days while Millie recovered and Glen looked after Millie’s sisters Elsie, 9, and Felicity, 12 at their home in Steyning, West Sussex.
She was moved to a high dependency unit on December 18, to a ward the next day, and back to Worthing on Tuesday, December 22.
Millie was home for Christmas on Wednesday 23 and has since recovered fully with the help of physiotherapy.
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