Year after contracting COVID, Lincoln County girl still has lingering effects

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — More than a year after contracting COVID-19, 12-year-old Wednesday Lynch, of Denver, still has lingering effects, ABC affiliate WTVD reported.

“It’s really disheartening,” her mother Melissa Lynch told WTVD. “It really is, because I know she’s tired of it. And she just wants to be normal again.”

Wednesday was diagnosed with COVID-19 last September.

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Her mother said she’s gone back to school but has already missed about 16 days this school year due to health issues.

“Her blood pressure dropped down to 72 over 50 something and it’s just been back and forth, her heart rate,” Melissa Lynch said. “She has cognitive issues now, which is the brain fog, the memory loss and the confusion, from long COVID. Her learning, cognitive has decreased.”

A recent study found that up to one in seven children who caught COVID-19 may have symptoms linked to the virus 15 weeks later. While data is not conclusive about how many children will get long haul COVID, most studies show it’s between 4% and 14%.

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Wednesday Lunch travels from Lincoln County to UNC’s COVID Recovery Clinic in Chapel Hill about once a month. She is the youngest patient at the facility.

“Wednesday has really been struggling with a lot of fatigue, difficulty with memory and attention, fevers, rashes, pain and she’s also had seizures,” said Dr. John Baratta, of UNC COVID Recovery Clinic.

Baratta is the founder and co-director of the clinic, which is geared toward adults. He said earlier in the pandemic, adults were thought to be most likely to have lingering issues after getting COVID. He’s worried there will be more long-term effects from COVID among children.

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“Anyone who gets infected with COVID-19 is at risk for developing long COVID,” Baratta said. “We see people who even have just a mild initial illness develop lingering symptoms that sometimes are substantially worse than the COVID-19 illness itself. So for that reason, I am concerned that there could be a new wave in the coming months, of people who have lingering effects from COVID-19, specifically the delta wave.”

Melissa Lynch does outreach for a group called Long COVID Kids, to help other parents going through the same thing.

“We cannot beat this pandemic with vaccination alone,” Melissa Lynch said. “Masks and other pandemic mitigations have to go with it.” Baratta encourages COVID-19 vaccinations for parents and children who are eligible.

WTVD contributed to this report.

(Watch the video below: COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ still struggle with lingering symptoms)