Tulsa Doctors Learn More About A Rare Post-COVID-19 Condition Called MIS-C Or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome In Children.
A family whose son was one of St. Francis Hospital’s first and more serious case, shares a message of hope after Finn was named the 2022 Children’s Miracle Network Champion on Sunday.
Finn Fouch wore a shirt that said “I know everything” as his condition went from bad to worse.
“It’s all cut in half. It’s all cut up. We’ll probably have to put it in a frame. I have a shadow box to put it in. Just do not have yet. You know, you just never know when you can go through “the hardest thing you’re ever going through. It was prophetic. He wore a prophet. Thank God he had that shirt on man,” said his mother Ashley Fouch.
Finn was rushed to the hospital and quickly moved to the pediatric intensive care unit.
“I was weak,” Finn Fouch said.
He began to hallucinate as his lungs filled with fluid and began to collapse.
“She said, ‘We do not have time. We need you to help us prepare him. Get him comfortable. We need to start the process of getting him in a fan now,'” Ashley said.
“We almost felt like this allowed our son to rest and his body to heal,” Rob said.
Ashley and Rob said they were facing a parent’s worst nightmare: they could survive their little boy.
They said all they could do was pray.
Rob believes that even when you feel weak, hold on to hope.
“We can not work on him medically, but we can stand in faith with him. We had faith in God and we had faith in the doctors,” Rob said.
They were in combat mode and said it helped to have a doctor who fought the same way.
“Like, can I touch him? May I kiss him? They were like ‘He can hear, he can hear you, so whatever you want to say to him, you talk to him, you kiss him, you hold his hand. ‘And then I just made sure to do it constantly, “Ashley said.
There were so many unknowns, but the Fouch family focused on winning one match at a time.
Finn had been given COVID-19, but his parents never knew it until he developed MIS-C or multiple inflammatory syndromes in children that affect all vital organs in his body.
Dr. Roopa Thukaram is PICU Medical Director at Saint Francis.
She said MIS-C includes a wide range of symptoms.
“Such as persistent high fever for 3 to 5 days. Swelling of hands and feet. Rash. Red eyes and red swollen tongue,” said Roopa Thukaram.
Dr. Tukaram said most children test positive for covid-19 and that this is how their immune system tries to fight it – even weeks later.
Finn had developed a fever in early 2021.
It started low but gradually got worse and lasted for 7 days.
Ashley said Finn’s eyes were bloodshot when she noticed a rash all over his skin.
They immediately took Finn to his pediatrician and called St. Francis to make room for Finn.
“I remember saying ‘I want to live and not die’ by drawing lots,” Finn said.
No one could visit, but they still showed up. They said that every text message, gift card and prayer gave them strength to push forward.
People gathered in the parking lot to pray, including Finn Jenk’s football team.
Then things started to turn around.
“I had a chart where, like every time I wanted to eat 3 meals a day or drink 3 glasses of water, walk around the PICU 3 times, I would be like a sticker. And if I got to fill all the sticker openings, I would be like a toy, “Finn said.
He even got some messages from a couple of NFL players.
“It’s almost as if we’ve been preparing for this our whole lives,” Rob said.
“It makes you almost angry more or less,” Ashley said.
“Oh no, we’re going to win this. There’s no way this is going to happen to our child. We’re coming out of this victorious,” Ashley said.
“You go from there with a decision, you know there are so many other people going through this, and you just … now I want to fight for them,” Rob said.
Dr. Tukaram said as recently as February, the CDC reported more than 6,850 cases and about 59 deaths in children.
She said no child is just another patient and that every parent becomes part of the team.
“I always say to my families; we are not God. God gives us knowledge, the ability to treat our critically ill children, so we always pray for our children, and God is the ultimate healer. We are all there as His messengers for to help their children, “said Dr. Tukaram.
She says they use several treatments, including IV hydration, monitoring of hydration and fever, and medications such as IV steroids, immunoglobulin infusions, and blood-thinning medications.
Finn got out of the fan after only 36 hours
“I was in the intensive care unit when Finn came off the ventilator support and even though he was tired as soon as we took the breathing tube out when I asked him, please give me a good cough, then he coughed and he got a twinkle in his eye , and right there we knew he was motivated to get better, “said Dr. Tukaram.
“This was the best case scenario for the worst for the worst situation,” Rob said.
Finn’s parents had a Bible with him, and every time someone sent them a verse that had to do with healing, they highlighted it.
Ashley and Rob have sensibly given that list to dozens of people.
“We tell people ‘man, these are battle-tested writings,'” Rob said. “I will live and not die. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. Everything I put my hands through has progress. The gates of hell will not prevail over me.”
Finn’s doctors said he is a living, breathing miracle because of how sick he was and how fast he recovered.
“Parents tell me, the meaning of Finn is a fair-haired warrior. And he was a true warrior. Lots of courage. Motivated. Very bubbly child,” said Dr. Tukaram.
But even after he went home, Finn did not go to school for several months.
“I’m bulletproof now. I’m like, oh, these scriptures work. I’m like I want to pray for everyone,” Rob said. “Now we’re just looking for a match, choosing matches now. I’ll tell you what. We left the intensive care unit and we said, ‘We’re taking kids with us. We do not want any children in the intensive care unit. We do not want any more children there. ”
They said today, Finn is stronger than ever and tells us that he is successful on the field and in school.
The Fouch family encourages people to pay attention to any signs and jump on them, seek help and overcome it.
“Just feel like the whole world is going through all this right now, and they just need people who can be strong and get through it and let them know you can get through it. You can do it. There’s hope. around the corner. Just keep going. Keep up with the right people. They are people out there who are trained to get you through the worst case scenario. Do not be afraid to get through what you are going through. You can do it, “Rob said.
Because Finn was one of the first MIS-C cases in Tulsa, the Fouch family said they now get calls from people everywhere asking for advice.
Ashley said her son has since developed COVID-19 again and was fine.
Most recently, Finn was selected to be Saint Francis’ 2022 Children’s Miracle Network, representing the thousands of children being treated at their hospital.
“Finn’s strength, courage and resilience keep us going. It’s very motivating and that’s what makes him so special is his inner strength and resilience and his great support from the family,” said Dr. Tukaram.
“We just want everyone to know, it’s not just our victory. It’s everyone’s victory, and that’s why we all let your prayers work. Keep fighting. Keep fighting. Keep fighting, said Rob.
The fight may be over for Finn, but sometimes the Fouch family still fights back tears.
“He’s strong,” Ashley said.
Finn’s advice to other children like him is: “Do not give up. Just keep fighting.”