18 years old - Mankato, Minnesota
Rachael is a college student who tested positive for COVID-19 on November 13th and recovered, but ended up in the ER on Christmas Day. She began to experience minor neck pains, and visited her local urgent care, who gave her muscle relaxants and sent her home.
The same night, however, the pain worsened to the point where she couldn't move without being in severe pain, which eventually started to spread down her spine. Accompanying her pains, Rachael had a migraine
and a fever of 102°. Concerned about meningitis, she rushed to the ER, where she experienced tachycardia, vomiting, and a second fever around 4am that night.
With all of her laboratory testing coming back normal, the doctors had a difficult time unraveling her medical mystery and began to consult with other hospitals until they settled on the diagnosis of Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C).
She was transferred to another hospital, where they started her on and IVIG treatment right away and performed further testing. They found her spleen was enlarged and she presented with a small blood clot in her lung. Doctors also discovered she started going into heart failure due to the inflammation, which caused acute myocarditis. Luckily for Rachael, they caught it early enough to treat it.
Rachael started to improve within 2-3 days on treatment: she had no fever, the inflammation markers had gone down drastically, and she was finally able to go home.
Since being discharged, Rachael takes around 10 medications a day and suffers from nightmares about being back in the ICU and panic attacks upon hearing the word 'Inflammation' or having any sort of pain in her body.
Though Rachel experienced COVID reinfection, she is beginning to feel significantly better and has follow ups with her cardiologist, rheumatologist, and other medical specialists. She is very happy to be home and continues to exhibit strength and resilience in her journey to recovered health.