UK six-year-old girl left fighting for life due to rare reaction to COVID-19

A six-year-old girl has nearly died after what was thought to be chicken pox turned out to be a reaction to COVID-19, which she didn’t know she had.

Three people in Millie Denvers’ class had chicken pox when she started feeling unwell on the evening of December 12.

She had a few spots, looked pale, started vomiting and burning up with a temperature of 39.9C.

Two days later, she was sleepy and not eating, but her temperature was normal.

She was still sick, and by the night she was crying with pain.

Her mother Elizabeth Denvers, 36, was concerned that the spots she thought were chicken pox were not blistering, and called her GP on Tuesday morning.

She was advised to call for an ambulance, which she did.

UK girl Millie Denvers was left clinging to life in hospital due to a rare reaction to COVID-19 known as PIMS-TS.
UK girl Millie Denvers was left clinging to life in hospital due to a rare reaction to COVID-19 known as PIMS-TS. Credit: SWNS/Supplied

When a paramedic rang back, she was told to take Millie into hospital, as the wait for an ambulance would be long.

Millie was admitted to Worthing Hospital and transferred in an induced coma to Southampton Hospital on December 15.

She remained in the coma for two days.

Staff at Worthing hospital told Millie’s mum and dad, Glen Denvers, 40, that she had a condition called PIMS-TS, a reaction to COVID-19 which she must have carried a couple of weeks before with no symptoms.

PIMS-TS stands for paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

“I was really freaking out,” Denvers said of her daughter.

“My mum is a nurse, and when I phoned her from the hospital to tell her what was happening she started crying, then I knew things were really serious.

Millie's mother initially believed spots on her body was caused by chickenpox.
Millie's mother initially believed spots on her body was caused by chickenpox. Credit: SWNS/Supplied

“Before they put her in the coma, Glen asked if she could die, and the nurse said it wasn’t looking good but couldn’t actually say.

“We had no idea she had carried COVID.

“Until she got sick on Saturday, (December) 12, she had been completely normal, and she’s a really active little girl.

“She had been going to school and doing everything she usually did.

“All her symptoms were consistent with chicken pox. But when the spots didn’t start blistering it worried me.

“She was in so much pain in the car you couldn’t touch her.

“I had to carry her into the hospital and hold her up, because she had gone all floppy.”

Denvers explained staff at Worthing Hospital couldn’t make sense of Millie’s symptoms at first.

Her tongue had gone a thick white colour shortly before they arrived at the hospital, which is usually consistent with a throat infection.

But her throat was fine.

Millie Denvers in hospital.
Millie Denvers in hospital. Credit: SWNS/Supplied

Blood tests revealed Millie’s liver and kidneys were struggling, and she was on fluids within a couple hours of arriving.

“At first they could see that she had an infection somewhere but they couldn’t work it out,” Denvers said.

“They hadn’t seen this before.

“The PIMS-TS attacks all the organs and bone marrow. Her kidneys were very damaged.

“Only five per cent of children who carry COVID get PIMS-TS.

“Her heart rate was really high and they said Southhampton hospital were coming to collect her, to put her to sleep to give her organs a rest and help her body recover, and transfer her there, that’s when I called Glen to come.

“When they transferred her she was asleep, with tubes everywhere, and strapped to a trolley.

Terrifying ordeal

“My own heart was beating so fast and I felt sick, I couldn’t lose my little baby.

“I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

“I wasn’t allowed to travel in the ambulance with her because of COVID.

“I just couldn’t deal with it, I needed to be with her.”

Millie Denvers spent days in hospital before making a recovery by Christmas.
Millie Denvers spent days in hospital before making a recovery by Christmas. Credit: SWNS/Supplied

Millie was able to breathe independently by December 17, but her kidneys were still struggling and she didn’t wake properly.

She was moved to a high dependency unit the following day.

Millie was home for Christmas, on December 23, and has recovered quickly and fully with the help of physiotherapy.

“It was a heartbreaking relief to hear her laughing with her sisters on Christmas Eve,” Denvers said.

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