INDIANAPOLIS — It began as a traditional day. Dawn Guest, 54, received up and headed out to her job as a nurse round 5 a.m. She heard her 16-year-old son, Andre, stirring in his room, however he had at all times been an earlier riser, even when his college was shut for COVID-19. Later that day she would get a name from her husband, telling her there was one thing fallacious with their son.
That name can be the start of a 12-day journey that may finish in tragedy.
“I can’t tell you how a perfectly healthy 16-year-old boy can be making his own peanut butter sandwich late Wednesday night, getting his own tea out the fridge, and head up to bed like any other teenager in the state or in the country is doing. And then within 24 hours is fighting for his life,” Dawn stated.
The Marion County Northeast Special Olympics retired Andre’s basketball jersey quantity ― No. 54― and despatched it to his household.
Andre, an easygoing sophomore at Lawrence North High School, beloved YouTube and knew every thing about video video games; for his birthday in April, he requested for a recreation that wasn’t set to be launched till December, and his mother and father deliberate on getting it for him when it was launched. He additionally beloved images and annoying his siblings and excelled at basketball and bowling.
Born prematurely at 25 weeks, he and twin sister Abby spent months within the hospital earlier than they have been introduced house and later adopted by Dawn and her husband, Johnny. Though Andre was identified with reasonable autism, his mother and father have been fierce advocates and he thrived with a constructive perspective and a smile on his face. “He always just flew through,” stated Dawn.
Because Dawn is a nurse within the nursing house at a seamless care group, the household took greater than the same old precautions when the coronavirus began to unfold across the United States. After every shift, she’d take off her footwear on the door — the place Johnny would disinfect them — and she or he’d head upstairs to bathe. The household cleaned surfaces with disinfectant wipes, wore masks once they needed to go away the home and practiced social distancing as a lot as doable. In reality, Andre was the one member of the family who didn’t go away the home in any respect. But the virus has confirmed to be a wily foe, circulating in some communities earlier than public well being officers realized it was there. It discovered weak individuals like Andre Guest regardless of all advisable precautions.
After Dawn left for work that morning, Andre — usually self-sufficient — requested his dad for assist getting a drink. Odd. At 1:30 p.m., when Johnny went to test on Andre, the teenager stated he was drained, however, Johnny stated, “his speech was really slurred. He could still understand me and answer me.” A short while later, when Andre fell down within the rest room, Johnny referred to as his spouse.
By the time Dawn received house, Andre had misplaced the power to grip objects, he had hassle standing, his head and eyes have been rolling, he couldn’t maintain his physique weight up, and he appeared confused. She referred to as an ambulance, which rushed Andre to the closest emergency room, which transferred the critically in poor health teen to Riley Hospital for Children.
Although Andre had no underlying medical circumstances, the very first thing medical doctors found was that he had developed Type 1 diabetes — his blood sugar was a harmful 1,500 milligrams per deciliter, greater than 10 instances regular. Type 1 diabetes often involves mild for the primary time within the setting of an an infection.
Because he had a fever and cough and was respiratory laborious, he was examined for COVID-19. Negative. But the medical doctors have been having hassle controlling the teenager’s blood sugar — normally pretty simple with an insulin infusion in a primary episode of diabetes. At the identical time, his temperature saved rising and his respiratory deteriorated even with growing dietary supplements of oxygen. A second COVID take a look at got here again constructive and he was moved to a COVID unit.
Johnny and Andre’s two sisters have been subsequently swabbed, and so they, too, have been constructive, although they’d solely delicate fevers and fatigue. Dawn, who was on the hospital with Andre, determined to not get examined as a result of, in accordance with Riley’s coverage, if she examined constructive she wouldn’t be allowed again into the hospital till she examined destructive twice.
Andre’s medical doctors tried “proning” ― inserting him flat on his abdomen, face and chest down ― to enhance his lung capability.
A number of days later, Andre was on a ventilator, and medical doctors, attempting to know and deal with his rapidly altering sickness, even tried “proning” — inserting him on his abdomen to enhance lung capability.
In his 12 days on the hospital, Andre skilled points together with his mind, coronary heart, lungs, kidneys and extra. “Everything that they would fight to try to correct, the coronavirus would find something else to attack,” stated Johnny. Though the workers had gotten the experimental drug remdesivir for Andre, his kidney and liver operate have been too poor to securely administer it. Many of Andre’s signs resembled what has since been dubbed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in youngsters — a uncommon however extraordinarily critical COVID-associated immune response that was not described till mid-May. Andre was by no means identified with the syndrome.
Still, his mom thought he’d survive. He was getting very good care, and his blood sugar was lastly at regular ranges — suggesting the worst of the an infection had handed. He was younger and had at all times been resilient.
On the morning of April 27, that hope rapidly evaporated. His blood sugar spiked. His arterial line started to clot, suggesting coagulation issues which have been a trademark of the illness. He went into cardiac arrest and, regardless of chest compressions, succumbed.
Andre is among the many small variety of youngsters who’ve died of COVID-19 and Indiana’s first recorded sufferer underneath age 18.
”They have been fantastic there,” Dawn stated. “Every nurse and every doctor. I can’t complain. We just didn’t get the results that we wanted.”
Despite stay-at-home restrictions, Andre’s dying resulted in an outpouring of assist from the group. Letters and playing cards arrived from academics recollecting their favourite encounters with the teenager.
More than 70 vehicles drove by the Guests’ home to specific their condolences in a memorial organized by Lawrence Township — the place Andre attended college.
Marion County Northeast Special Olympics retired Andre’s staff basketball jersey — No. 54 — and despatched it to the household’s house.
With this virus, “you are taking care of your community, as much as you’re taking care of yourself. You have no idea if you’re a carrier or if you’ve touched something that has it on there,” stated Dawn.