‘Be aware’: Parents issue warning after 3-year-old son suffers COVID-19 induced stroke

Three-year-old Colt Parris is doing much better after doctors believed he suffered a stroke after contracting COVID-19, but his parents are sharing a stark warning to others about the serious effects that the novel coronavirus can have on children.

Colt’s mother, Sara, told FOX Television Stations that her son started having common cold-like symptoms in mid-December. She took him to the clinic where he tested negative for COVID-19. But he didn’t get any better. 

RELATED: Doctors warn children infected with COVID-19 may be at risk of heart failure and damage

"So he quit drinking, and wouldn’t keep anything down," Parris said. 

Credit: Sara Parris

Parris took Colt to the hospital the next day where the toddler ended up testing positive for the coronavirus. She said his symptoms got worse.

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"He was talking, but it was more mumbled. Really couldn’t understand him," she explained. While at the hospital, she handed Colt a stuffed animal and he couldn’t even reach out to grab it. 

Doctors examined the toddler and said he suffered a stroke.

"I still don’t know if I believe it," Parris said. "And so I get the news and of course, I broke down."

Credit: Sara Parris

According to FOX 2 News, Dr. Paul Carney treated Colt.

Doctors told Parris they believe the coronavirus triggered a blood clot, which led to the stroke. 

"The result came back and I looked at it and it was a clear stroke," MU Health Care pediatric neurologist Dr. Paul Carney, told the news station. "So, there was a lack of blood supply to the left side of the brain."

"The COVID diagnosis is important because we think the reason why this patient with COVID, including the child, have strokes and a variety of other problems is that they have propensity to form clots," Neurologist Dr. Camilo Gomez said. Gomez also treated Colt.

RELATED: ‘Profoundly sad’: Mother and daughter die of COVID-19 less than a week apart in same hospital

Parris said her son is doing much better, although she has noticed he does move a little slower during certain activities. Doctors told her they expect the toddler to make a full recovery.

Credit: Sara Parris

Parris wanted to use her story to share an urgent message with other parents during the pandemic. She said her family took COVID-19 safety precautions and she doesn’t know how Colt contracted the virus.

The mother said parents should realize that COVID-19 can have serious, detrimental effects on children.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccines: When can children get vaccinated?

Earlier research from the U.S., China and Europe found that children are less likely than adults to be infected by the virus and are less likely to become seriously ill when they do get sick.

But a more recent study from the CDC revealed the issue may be worse than previously thought.

In a September study, researchers from Utah and the CDC focused on three outbreaks in Salt Lake City child care facilities between April and July. Two were child-care programs for toddlers, and the other was a camp for older kids. The average age of kids at all three programs was about 7.

RELATED: COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children: What parents need to know

At two of the facilities, investigators were able to establish that an infected adult worker unknowingly introduced the virus into the group.

The study concluded 12 children caught the coronavirus at child care facilities, and spread it to at least 12 of the 46 parents or siblings that they came in contact at home. Three of the infected children had no symptoms, and one of them spread it to a parent who was later hospitalized because of COVID-19, the researchers said.

Children across the U.S. have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to COVID-19 called MIS-C, and some have even died from the coronavirus.

A report by a group of U.S. doctors published in the medical journal JACC in early December warned of the potential of heart damage to children from the novel coronavirus.

The report detailed the case of a 2-month-old infant diagnosed with COVID-19, who experienced a myocardial injury as well as a type of heart failure most commonly seen in adults.

RELATED: 4-year-old NY boy dies with coronavirus

A 4-year-old recently died of COVID-19 in New York. Xavier M. Harris of Utica passed away the day after Christmas.

"If you know that your child has either tested positive or been around someone who is positive... take them to get them checked out," Parris said. "Just to be sure that it isn’t more going on than just a cold."

"You don’t want to see your child, or any child, in a state that we got to see ours," she added. "It’s devastating."

Austin Williams contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.