'It could potentially kill him': Families with immune-compromised children fear for their lives
LONDON, ONT. -- Seven-year-old Carson Smith has Angelman’s Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that his family says makes him high-risk when it comes to the novel coronavirus.
“We spend a lot of time in hospital, so something like this is not good for him or anyone, and it could potentially kill him.”
Carson’s mom, Allana Boyd, says a recent meeting with Carson’s doctor came with a warning; that if Carson caught COVID-19, he likely wouldn’t survive it.
“Really, at first I didn’t know how serious this was but the fact I can lose my child over it is pretty severe.”
Carson isn’t alone, many families are worried about their vulnerable and immune-compromised loved ones.
Take the Olsen family in Chatham, Ont. Their 18-month-old daughter Evelyn suffers from both a severe heart and lung condition.
“Evelyn has two of the highest risk factors for if she gets this virus for it to be fatal for her,” says Evelyn’s mom Veronica Olsen.
“Evelyn, already as it is, is using only one fully functioning lung so the results of her catching this would be catastrophic.”
The family, at the direction of Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital, are in self-isolation to protect Evelyn.
“It’s important, especially if you have a medical child or someone elderly in your family,” says Evelyn’s dad Sean Olsen.
“We need to do everything we need to do to protect them so we don’t end up like Italy, Spain or France, because our health care system can’t take it.”
Both families say they will do whatever it takes to protect their children, and hope others follow the direction of health care professionals to help keep the vulnerable population safe.
“I hope for our situation and others like Carson’s that people understand the severity of it and take all the precarious for not just themselves but for everyone else,” Allana says.