LATROBE, Pennsylvania (WTAE) — Oliver Shultz, 11, loves the outdoors. Every day he takes time tending to the stables at his family home, enjoying a ride along nearby trails on his horse, G.W.
It will be a while before Oliver is back in the saddle again, but right now his family is just happy to have him home alive.
“It’s the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Oliver’s mother Aimee Shultz said.
About two weeks ago Aimee Shultz said Oliver started to feel sick. First it was a backache, then a fever.
From there, it was multiple trips to the hospital and a positive COVID-19 test.
“It was like having every single sickness I’ve ever had all at once,” Oliver Shultz said.
Broken blood vessels turned Oliver’s eyes red. At one point last week, Aimee Shultz said Oliver’s feet turned blue, his hands turned red, and he developed a rash. She knew then it was time to go back to the hospital.
“The doctors said within an hour Ollie might not have been with us,” Aimee Shultz said. “Oliver looked at me in the emergency room and said ‘Mama, I think I’m going to die.'”
Oliver was immediately taken to the intensive care unit. Doctors at UPMC Children’s Hospital would soon diagnose him with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C, a rare condition that can cause organs in the body to become inflamed. UPMC Children’s Hospital has treated 12 cases of the illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the illnesses link to COVID-19 in children.
“He has three different heart conditions from myocarditis,” Aimee Shultz said. “He has six months for his heart to heal as much as it can.”
Oliver is now back home and feeling much better after receiving treatment, but he is not in the clear yet. He can’t be exposed to germs, and will be confined mostly to his home while giving his heart and other organs time to heal.
He is able to get some fresh air though, a simple treat he now appreciates.
“I’m hopeful I can get back to riding very soon,” Oliver Shultz said. “It’s what I love to do and I don’t feel the same without riding my horse every day.”
Aimee Shultz said the goal now is to learn as much as she can about MIS-C and any potential long-term impacts on Oliver. She said doctors are still running tests and researching Oliver’s case to hopefully find some answers. A GoFundMe was started to help the family pay for medical costs. Aimee Shultz said she also hopes to donate to research being done on MIS-C.
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