Little River’s family urges others to get vaccinated after 17-year-old hospitalized with COVID-19
LITTLE RIVER, SC (WBTW) – A 17-year-old from Little River has been in the pediatric intensive care unit since mid-August after facing serious illness from COVID-19.
Christian Davila went to the hospital after having difficulty walking. He spent two weeks on a ventilator, but his doctor said he was improving.
“When I first heard about this COVID, I thought it was nothing serious, nothing more than the flu,” said Anthony Rainey, Davila’s father. “This thing chewed up his lungs to the point where they had to put him on a ventilator. He couldn’t breathe. It affected his kidneys, his liver.
Davila is in occupational therapy at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in Charleston.
“As a parent, you feel like you’ve failed,” Rainey said.
Elizabeth Mack has been part of the team that has taken care of Davila since arriving in Charleston. She said that statewide, only 25% of children between the ages of 12 and 19 have been fully immunized.
She said the hospital has not seen a single admitted child who has been vaccinated.
Since testing positive, Davila’s entire family has been vaccinated. They hope their experience can show people that anyone can face serious illness, including otherwise healthy children.
“COVID took all of my stamina,” Davila said. “When I went to the hospital, a lot of my friends realized it wasn’t a joke.”
Davila’s twin brother also tested positive for COVID-19, but did not show serious symptoms.
“You need to get the shot,” Rainey said. “If you don’t do it for yourself and you have kids, you have to do it for your kids. “
Mack said there were 36 children hospitalized with COVID-19 at South Carolina’s four main children’s hospitals. Of these, 16 are in intensive care units, six are on a ventilator and two have had lung bypass surgery.