An 8-year-old New York boy has recovered from heart surgery after he spent a month in the hospital, fighting for his life following a COVID-19 diagnosis which led to complications found in some children who have tested positive.
Jorden Hutchins returned to Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Westchester to thank healthcare heroes who helped save his life on Thursday. He first fell ill last month, suffering from high fever and having trouble breathing, and his mother rushed him to the hospital. Within 24 hours, Jorden found himself hooked up to a ventilator and heart machine.
"I was worried that I might pass," Jorden said.
The young boy's family were all tested positive with the coronavirus weeks before he got sick, and they initially thought he was safe. Doctors later diagnosed him with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a rare but serious complication associated with COVID-19.
Many MIS-C patients may start with symptoms such as fever, rash, conjunctivitis, abdominal pain or diarrhea – but then the condition may quickly worsen in a manner similar to toxic shock syndrome. Some children who NBC New York's I-Team has documented have appeared to be showing only slight symptoms, but within days — if not hours — had their conditions worsen dramatically, leaving them in a coma and on a ventilator.
Dr. Diana Haddad described Jorden's time in the hospital as "very frightening." She said, "Every single day was so critical but never once did we lose hope because [the family] never lost hope in us."
Ultimately, Jorden had to undergo heart surgery and he spent 28 days in the hospital before rehabilitation.
"It was so much, so fast," his mother Beverly Hutchins said. "Jorden is a true champion. He's the one that fought to come back to us."
The bond Jorden and his family developed with the hospital staff is so deep that they named the 8-year-old their "Go the Distance" ambassador. While Jorden's long-term prognosis is unknown, the young survivor said Thursday that he's feeling good.
Jorden is convinced that his survival proves that other kids can too.
"I am strong. Be strong," he said.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Jorden Hutchins' name throughout. The name of the hospital has also been corrected.