Alyssa Simons was a rising sophomore at North Mecklenburg High School. She had her whole life ahead of her.
“She loved to draw, she wanted to go to fashion design school, all she did was draw, draw, draw,” Simons’ mother, Shernett Reevey, said in an interview with WSOC.
Reevey said her entire family came down with COVID-19 in March. Simons also tested positive, but she was asymptomatic.
Several weeks later, Simons began to have severe abdominal and back pain.
“We were trying to take her upstairs and she just collapsed and that was when we called 91
Simons spent the next 10 days in the hospital. She was diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C. It is a condition in which various body parts become inflamed.
Doctors are not yet sure what is causing it. However, they have noticed that many children with MIS-C recently had COVID-19 or were exposed to COVID-19 prior to their MIS-C diagnosis.
After the hospital stay, Simons seemed to get better. But then one day the pain came back.
“She started complaining about the pain again, so I made another appointment, and I told her if she did not get better in the morning, I would take her to the hospital again,” Reevey said.
Those would be some of the last words Reevey ever said to his daughter.
Simon died that night in his room.
“I woke up and checked on her and she was already gone,” Reevey said.
“What I want parents to know is that this is out there. COVID is not over, this is not talked about,” said Simon’s aunt Yolanda Johnson. “Your child may have mild stomach pain or back pain, and you can just write it off as ‘Oh OK; it’s nothing big. You’re fine.'”
Reevey and Johnson encourage other families to be aware of all symptoms.
“We have not stopped crying since we lost her, but if our story helps save another child’s life, then it makes all the difference in the world. Early detection, consider the vaccine, it is available,” Johnson said.
The two-shot Pfizer vaccine is approved for children 12 years of age and older.
“I just hope her story can help another child,” Reevey said
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