‘Am I dying?’: 15-year-old returns home after being hospitalized with COVID-19

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Crawford Deveaux, 15, was in the hospital for more than a week with a severe case of COVID-19.

“He asked me, he said, ‘Aunt Tawanda, am I dying?’ and that just tore me up,” his aunt Tawanda Blake said.

Deveaux was discharged Sunday from Levine Children’s Hospital. He did not feel well so he wasn’t able to speak with Channel 9, but his aunt wants others to know what happened.

He spent eight days in the hospital, much of it attached to a breathing tube. At one point he had respiratory failure.

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“Had we not had that treatment, I don’t know where Crawford would be today,” Blake said.

Blake believes her nephew may have gotten COVID-19 from her 13-year-old son who was asymptomatic. She is raising him with her children, and realized something medical experts have been warning about for several weeks.

“Never assume your child can’t get it,” Blake said.

State records for the Charlotte region show when hospitalizations were much higher five months ago, seniors citizens over 70 years old made up more than half of the people newly admitted with COVID-19.

That’s now down to 14%.

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People in their 30s, 20s and 17 old younger are now making up more of the percentage of hospitalizations.

Dr. Crystal Bowe of CaroMont Health said she has also noticed the trend. She said vaccines have been readily available to older people for longer, but a lot of young people don’t think they need it.

“Young folks don’t think that the virus is going to affect them the same way,” Bowe said. “They don’t think it’s a big deal.”

She said the numbers show it is a big deal, and that contracting the virus can have long-term side effects.

“Getting sick from COVID-19 is devastating, even if you are not hospitalized,” Bowe said.

Bowe encourages everyone to get vaccinated.