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13-year-old Utah boy becomes gravely ill weeks after contracting COVID

Posted at 4:29 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 18:04:12-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Ryan and Ashley Shupe's world came to a standstill, not when they initially contracted COVID-19, but when their son became gravely ill weeks later.

READ: Salt Lake County Health considers K-6 mask mandate

The Shupes say they contracted the virus just after vaccines became available, and although Ashley had relatively mild symptoms, 13-year-old Trevor, their "healthy kid," came down with a 105-degree fever one month later.

Trevor's doctors didn't believe his illness was related to COVID-19, but Ryan and Ashley took him to the emergency room due to breathing issues their son was having.

Trevor was taken by helicopter and sent to the ICU, a trip he had to make by himself because of COVID-19 protocol; once at Primary Children's Hospital, doctors tried to stabilize his blood pressure.

"His body kind of attacked itself. It was nerve-wracking because they'd say, 'OK, we think this will work,' and the next day they'd say 'It didn't work as well as we liked,'" Ryan said.

"I think the really concerning thing for us is they say COVID doesn’t really affect children... [but] he just wasn’t responding to medicine as quickly as they would have liked," Ashley added.

READ: Salt Lake Co. returns to high transmission COVID level

Days later, the treatments finally worked and his parents are now calling Trevor the "miracle boy."

"It was rough. I’m doing good now," Trevor said.

But this summer his activity is restricted, limited to activities that won't raise his heart rate.

Ryan has this warning for parents: Most kids are fine, but there's an outlying group that isn't, and so parents should take action as soon as symptoms occur to help prevent life-threatening situations.

Doctors from around the country have asked to study Trevor’s reaction to help other children who may develop long-term effects from COVID-19.

Trevor will go in for an MRI in September to see if there is any scar damage on his heart, which will determine what the rest of his life may look like.