PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Joelle Prestegard is finally home in Ahwatukee following a relentless battle with COVID-19 in Texas. Her mother, Marissa King, watched helplessly as the virus attacked her daughter's body. "I was ready to give up. I am there by myself with her, and it is just her and I in this room. You feel really alone," said King.
Joelle, age 12, was in Texas when she started feeling sick. On July 17, she went to the emergency room where she tested positive for the virus. A chest X-ray also revealed she had pneumonia in her lungs. Joelle ended up in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Joelle was then diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare complication of coronavirus in children. Joelle had a fever, rash, inflammation and digestive issues. Doctors were able to diagnose her based on those symptoms and blood tests that showed inflammation in her body.
According to the CDC, MIS-C is a condition where different parts of the body can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Many kids who have or have had COVID-19 develop MIS-C. According to the Maricopa County Health Department, there have been eight confirmed cases of MIS-C in the county.
"There was a spell where she was coughing really bad. She couldn't catch her breath. Her heart rate was dropping." King also said there were many moments she didn't think Joelle would make it. However, she finally started to respond to treatment. Just last week, she was discharged from the hospital.
Now, King wants other parents to know their children are not immune to the virus. "She still has a long way to go, but at least I got to bring her home. Another parent might not be that lucky," said King.
There was a GoFund Me page created to help with Joelle's medical bills. If you would like to donate, click here.