COVINGTON, La. — The parents of a 12-year-old girl from the New Orleans area are overjoyed that their daughter has recovered from a near-death coronavirus infection.
Juliet Daly had barely made it to the hospital before she had a heart attack.
She was admitted into the emergency room on April 6, where doctors found she had a heart blockage that slowed her heart, causing cardiac arrest. Her heart stopped for two minutes before she was revived, intubated and airlifted to Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans.
"I was imagining everything, trying to try and imagine what life would be like with only my other two children, what I would have to tell people, if they ask you, how many children do you have? Do you say you have three children but you lost one, or do you just say you have two?” Jennifer Daily, Juliet’s mother, said. “I was thinking about how my husband wouldn't get a chance to walk her down the aisle. I was thinking how she wouldn't have a chance to fall in love or get married or have kids or, you know, experience all the wonderful things in life. I'm thinking I'm ...I'm forty four. I've done all those things and I've lived a full life. And God, just take me instead, I need her to live."
Her doctor said children often don't have the same symptoms as adults with coronavirus infections. In Juliet's case she had severe abdominal pains and eventually her lips started turning blue.
A team of pediatric cardiology specialists found that Juliet had acute fulminant myocarditis (AFM), an uncommon heart condition that tends to present with sudden onset acute heart failure, cardiogenic shock or life-threatening arrhythmias.
A nasal swab confirmed that Juliet was also COVID-19 positive and that she had a second viral infection – adenovirus.
"The problem is that your heart and it pumps the blood and when it is starting to die and hurt, it makes everything else in your body feel like it's hurting,” Juliet said. “So you never know what it is until it's too late or until you get blue lips…”
“That was our first warning really,” her mother said. “When we knew something was serious was when her color changed."
Since Juliet had no history of heart issues, it was determined this was a result of the virus.
Juliet remained intubated for about four days as treatments focused on improving her heart, kidney and liver function.
She was extubated with no problems and discharged on April 15 after a 10-day hospital stay. She is expected to make a full recovery.
"My one rule is, you cannot die before Mommy,” Jennifer Daly said. “You can die one minute after Mommy. But not before mommy. And she died. She tried to die or she died before I did."
"I died and came back," Juliet added.
"It was devastating,” her mother continued. “It was just thank God it worked out OK. Because it was the worst … You found a loophole.”