Coronavirus symptoms: ‘Fit and active’ boy develops toxic shock sepsis

Coronavirus symptoms: ‘Fit and active’ boy develops toxic shock sepsis


Coronavirus symptoms can creep up on you. Then, bam – you’re in hospital fighting for your life. Young lad George Mitchell hadn’t seen it coming.

The “fit and active” teenager told his mum Andrea, 36, that he didn’t feel well.

Feeling hot to touch, Andrea gave her son paracetamol to bring down his fever.

The next day, May 5, his fever continued to soar – reaching 40.4°C – and he was suddenly unable to eat or talk.


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Calling NHS 111, his concerned mum was advised to bring George to Barnsley General Hospital.

Testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), the doctors became aware that George’s blood pressure was “dangerously low”.

The married mum-of-three recalled: “His heart and lungs weren’t working properly. They said he had toxic shock sepsis.

An X-ray revealed a “fog” on his chest, and so the young boy was rushed off to Leeds General Infirmary to be seen by a team of cardiologists.

Andrea continued: “We weren’t allowed to follow him to Leeds, and I had to watch my scared 13-year-old son leave on his own.

“It was stressful, and frightening, and impossible to describe.”

Reflecting back on his own experience, George added: “I felt like I had my soul drained out of me.

“It was agonising at times, because I just couldn’t get up.

“My head was pounding like hammers. On the fifth day I didn’t even know what was happening anymore, it was terrifying.

“I was just confused – it was a hellish nightmare.”

After getting his body pumped with antibiotics, George began to show signs of recovery.

Well enough to return to his family home last Wednesday, George is still recovering.


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A team of cardiologists and rheumatologists have scheduled consultations to discuss George’s experience.

“The NHS staff are the best thing to happen to me in my life,” said George.

“It could have been a different story, but they saved me.”

George’s mum added: “The hospital staff were amazing, but I thought I might not take [him] home.”

“It was the most horrifying experience for a mum to go through,” Andrea said.

“I still hear the machines beeping every night. It’s been a nightmare – you never expect this to happen to you.

“Those eight days felt like a lifetime of pain. I really thought I might lose my boy.

“When [coronavirus] started everyone said it would only affect old or vulnerable people – but we’re learning this isn’t true.”

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