Updated: May 02, 2021 10:46 PM
Created: May 02, 2021 08:14 PM
The Greig family from Buffalo, Minnesota, watched their daughter, Samantha, last week while in a medically induced coma at a Minneapolis hospital for a serious condition associated with COVID-19.
The 13-year-old was diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, according to the family, after learning she also tested positive for COVID-19.
"They put her on a ventilator," said Angela Greig, Samantha’s mother. "They couldn't get her fever under control, there was inflammation all over her body, her kidney, gallbladder — it's been very touch-and-go."
In the days before the hospital, the family said Samantha’s symptoms worsened from stomach and leg pain all the way to a high heart rate and trouble breathing.
Eighty-one kids have been diagnosed with MIS-C in the last year, according to the most recent data from the Minnesota Department of Health.
The exact cause of MIS-C is not known, but it is thought to be related to an abnormal immune system response to the coronavirus, according to Children's Minnesota, where the teen’s hospitalized.
MIS-C can cause different body parts to become inflamed, which may include the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs including the stomach, according to the Children’s Minnesota website.
“After a plasma transfusion, Samantha opened her eyes and squeezed the nurse’s hand! Thank you to everyone who donates blood! Hallelujah!” wrote the family on their GoFundMe page.
The family credits the plasma treatment for her improvement, along with care from hospital staff, to the point now where she’s able to breathe on her own.
“Doing a lot better than yesterday,” said Tyron Greig, Samantha’s father. “Opening her eyes, moving her hands and feet.”
The support that has poured out for Samantha from family, friends, and strangers gave the family hope for the future.
"Everything going on in the world just gave my heart a lift, my soul a lift. I just feel like Sam is going to be OK," Angela Greig said.
The Greigs hope to "pay it forward" to help others after the help they credit from the strangers who donated their plasma.
The family said Samantha could be hospitalized for at least two more weeks while undergoing treatment.
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