Three-year-old Missouri boy suffers stroke after COVID-19 diagnosis - doctors

COVID-19 caused the boy to have a stroke, doctors say.
COVID-19 caused the boy to have a stroke, doctors say. Photo credit: Getty

A goofy and energetic three-year-old Missouri boy has suffered a stroke after contracting COVID-19.

The week before Christmas, Colt Parris stopped eating and drinking. His mother, Sara Parris, took him to a clinic in Salisbury, Missouri, where he tested negative for COVID-19.

The clinic recommended they visit the hospital, where by the time Colt was admitted, a returning test result confirmed he had COVID-19.

A few hours later Colt began to show signs of stroke.

"I can't even put into words," Sara told KSN. "You couldn't even touch him and not know that it wasn't hurting him."

Colt's father Tim Parris said he was obviously in a lot of pain. 

"You couldn't touch him for several days because he was so swollen, and his body just hurt everywhere," he said. 

Before the stroke was diagnosed, Ms Parris noticed her son acting "a little off", but assumed it was due to pain and fatigue. 

The doctors ran tests, and discovered Colt had a blockage in his brain. MU Health Care pediatric neurologist Dr Paul Carney told KSN that the results showed a clear stroke.

"There was a lack of blood supply to the left side of the brain," Carney said. "There's really no other case like this. If this had been anybody over the age of 40 or 60, they would have probably had a very different outcome."

Doctors used thrombectomy - a surgical procedure used to remove blood clots from arteries and veins - to remove the brain blockage. 

His family and a team of doctors at University of Missouri Health Care are calling his recovery the best Christmas present ever.

"We thought we were going to lose him for sure," Tim told KSN. "I don't care how tough you are; you will cry. You can't help it when it's your three-year-old laying there."

Dr Carney is urging parents not to shrug off differences in their children's behaviour after contracting COVID-19.

"I would say that if you notice your child has COVID and having problems walking or talking, don't just chalk it up, 'oh they just have a fever,' it could be a nervous system problem."

Colt is now on the road to a full recovery, doctors say.

His parents don't know where their son contracted the virus, as they started homeschooling him earlier this year to avoid any outside contact.