A mum from Tring is raising awareness of Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) after her son developed the condition after having asymptomatic covid.
Charlotte White wants other parents to know about the symptoms to look out for after her son, who was three at the time, spent a week in hospital in April last year.
Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) is a new condition that happens weeks after someone has had the virus that causes coronavirus (Covid-19). It causes inflammation (swelling) throughout the body which is one way your immune system fights off infection, injury and disease.
Charlotte, whose son Leo is now five, said: "Leo was rushed into hospital in April 2020 during the start of the pandemic last year roughly six weeks after having asymptomatic covid.
"Doctors were baffled as to what was wrong with him and it turns out he was one of the first cases of PIMS that was treated. Definitely the first case at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
"They didn’t know what it was until we had been discharged and they started seeing more cases and research was done.
"We thought he have been having an allergic reaction to something as he come out in a rash.
"It was the beginning of the first lockdown so there was no face-to-face GP appointments.
"He had a rash like an allergy rash around his neck and under his arms and on his face and his eyes were really red.
"We called our GP and she did a video call, she asked if he had blisters and at that point he didn't.
"Not long after we got off the call, blisters began to appeared so we called the GP back and she was concerned and said she was going to blue light us to hospital.
At the time I think they thought it was Kawasaki disease as the symptoms were similar
"We got to hospital and he had a bit of a temperature, he had had covid but there were no regular tests back then so he didn't have a test for it.
"My dad passed away after testing positive and I had the same symptoms and Leo had no symptoms but when they did the antibody test on him, it showed that he had had covid.
"He was in so much pain and he couldn't put his arms down
"It happened in the night and I remember staying up with him, he couldn't move without being in agony from the pain.
"The rash kept getting more and more red and his lips were dry and his tongue was like strawberry tongue (swollen and bumpy).
"We got put onto a ward and at this point I still thought it was an allergic reaction.
"His body was peeling, he couldn't go to the toilet and he was on morphine straight away.
"The rash was all over his body and his eyes were really swollen.
"The peeling started on his body and the last part to peel was his hands.
"He was in hospital for one week, and then we had medication at home for two weeks.
"Leo was extremely poorly, his whole body swelled, he was in a huge amount of pain and was on morphine for a week, 80 per cent of his skin skin peeled off his whole body.
"He was only three at the time and this reaction did this to him in a matter of hours."
Leo tested positive for Covid on November 30, and Charlotte said the doctor has told her to take him to hospital if he gets sickness or diarrhoea.
Although most children and young people who develop Covid-19 have no symptoms or very mild ones at the time, some children have developed Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) a few weeks afterwards.
These are mostly young people in adolescence, but children can get PIMS too.
Symptoms of PIMS
The main symptom of PIMS is a high temperature that lasts for a few days.
You might also have other symptoms such as:
> A rash
> Tiredness and weakness
> Tummy pain or cramps
> Red and cracked lips
> Swollen hands and feet
> Peeling skin on your hands and feet
> Red eyes
> Muscle aches and pains
> Diarrhoea and vomiting
> Swollen neck glands
> Unexplained irritability
Charlotte added: "I think parents should be made aware that this could happen to their children if they get covid and what to look out for and what to do if this is the case.
"It’s a very time sensitive reaction and you need to move quickly to treat it. We were told it’s considered a medical emergency.
"It can affect children quite badly and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
"There is not much awareness about this and there should be, parents need to know what to look out for, children can get quite sick very quickly.
"Parents should be aware of this condition. I want people to understand that this is a serious reaction to covid for children.
"If you see this in your child and it seems more than just a reaction to something, trust your instinct and take them to A&E."