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Girl, 12, slowly sees relief after battling 10 months of long-hauler COVID-19 symptoms

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 3:31 PM EDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC/Gray News) – Addison Adams, 12, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October 2020.

WBRC is now reporting the preteen is slowly starting to feel some relief after 10 months of battling what doctors diagnosed as long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.

“Leg paralysis, airway closures, leg pain, seizure activity, blackout spells, blind spots,” Addison’s mom Julie Thompson said. “She was not able to function at all.”

Thompson said her daughter went from being a child who was riding her bike every day to a child that couldn’t even walk alone.

When she was diagnosed, Addison hoped that by lying in bed she would get well and be able to go back to school with all her friends.

But that wasn’t the case.

Thompson said the third week into Addison’s COVID case, she started experiencing severe leg pains and numbness.

“Every day it seemed like we were developing a new symptom,” Thompson said. “She started having headaches, dizziness and fatigue. She was seeing double and she has blind spots in both of her eyes.”

While the 12-year-old still struggles with headaches and generalized pains, she is doing much better.

Addison’s road to recovery started on her summer trip out west where she and her family visited seven different states and national parks. It was a birthday present she was finally able to take.

“The day before the trip, I had paralysis and leg pain was extreme,” Addison said. “But I was determined to be normal on this trip and be healthy and do what all my cousins were doing.”

Expecting to be limited because of her long hauler symptoms, Addison was shocked after her first day on vacation.

“The first night, I didn’t have paralysis, my voice did not give out, and my leg pain tremendously disappeared,” Addison said.

Addison’s long-haul symptoms continued to improve. She now feels well enough to go back to school full time after almost one year out from her diagnosis.

“She is so strong,” Thompson said. “Her drive is really truly what I think has gotten her this far in her healing process. We are very strong in our faith and we believe God is going to heal her and take care of her.”

Excited to feel like a normal kid again, Addison hopes other young people know that COVID can impact them too.

“I believe as well that kids should as well take this seriously,” Addison said. “Kids should know that things can happen to them.”

Thompson said it is unclear if her daughter’s symptoms will start becoming more severe again or continue to get better, but they are hopeful things will continue to improve.

Addison is part of different medical studies to help doctors learn more about long-haul symptoms in kids.

She’s been diagnosed with multiple neurological and functional disorders, all believed to be from having COVID-19. Thompson said doctors have diagnosed Addison with functional neurological disorder, amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome and orthostatic intolerance.

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