When Rose Lehane Tureen, 13, got sick at the start of the pandemic, doctors told her kids couldn’t get COVID. Today, she still has long-haul symptoms.
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Before COVID-19, Rose would bounce from a full school day to a 7-mile run, then to soccer practice or dance class – she loves Irish step dancing. Now, though she still participates, she tires easily.
For more than a year, she felt like most of the string of doctors she saw didn’t really hear her complaints. They told her that her symptoms – which also include red, swollen fingers, toes and ears; peeling skin; temperature control problem; joint pain and terrible dreams – must be unrelated.
Sometimes, she wondered if grown-ups would pay more attention if she weren’t so put together, if they’d be less dismissive of her symptoms if she really fell apart.
“Then maybe they’d listen,” she said, adding that she can’t be the only kid being treated this way. “I have to imagine there are thousands of Roses.”
Finally, in the middle of a summer spent in her mother’s hometown in Maine, she came out of a two-hour visit to Boston Children’s Hospital feeling heard.
Caregivers there confirmed she had long-haul COVID-19 and that they had seen all her symptoms before in other children with lingering symptoms. They didn’t have a solution for her problems, but at least they didn’t prescribe the same useless migraine pills.
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