Fairhaven Girl’s COVID-Related Illness Leads to Inspiring Run
Vera Grace Moran is a five-year-old girl from Fairhaven. Although her parents have been very strict about keeping Vera and her sisters, Elle and Reis, safe during the pandemic, her family contracted COVID-19 shortly after Christmas and remained in quarantine for two weeks.
Vera’s case was mild, with symptoms only lasting 24 hours on Sunday, January 3. By Wednesday, January 13, the family completed their quarantine and thought they could put the virus behind them.
On Tuesday, February 2, Vera was extremely tired and started a high fever of 103.5. Vera’s mom, Stephanie Poyant-Moran, was very worried.
“I called her doctor and they said to keep an eye on it and let them know if anything changed. The fever remained that high for 48 hours, even with alternating medications to bring it down," she said. "She developed a rash on Thursday morning and that was the last straw. We brought her to the pediatrician and they immediately called Boston Children’s Hospital to contact the COVID team there.”
Stephanie and her husband, Ross Moran, were living their worst fear through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The reason my husband and I were so strict with outside contact was that we didn’t want one of the girls to develop this rare condition as a result of having COVID-19," she said.
That rare condition is “Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children,” or MIS-C. According to the CDC, MIS-C is a “condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal (gut) pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired.” The condition has developed in children who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Vera’s symptoms worsened at the hospital. The rash that started on Thursday morning spread and covered her entire body by Friday afternoon. The whites of her eyes were red and her body continued to look swollen. Her belly grew as a result of inflammation and was still deflating as they made their way home after an eight-day stay at Boston Children’s to receive a multitude of treatments.
She’s a tough girl and she did everything the doctors said to get better, including blowing bubbles, walking as soon as she could, etc.
“We’ve been calling her the Princess Warrior. She is so brave. They closely monitored the heart and hers stayed stable the whole time. We’re so grateful that it stayed strong," Poyant-Moran said. "We’re lucky that she was healthy before this with no underlying health conditions. This truly can happen to anyone.”
Vera will have follow-up care to monitor her lungs, heart, and overall health.
Poyant-Moran stated that she and her husband are both avid runners.
“There’s a huge running community in our area and I was scrolling through Strava when I just happened to see a post that showed Vera’s name," she said.
Eleven family members and friends ran a 6.34 mile run in New Bedford’s South End. The route was designed by Mike Bates in order to show love and support for Vera while she was in the hospital.
"And they were all just waiting for me to check the app to see what they had done. They know me so well!," Poyant-Moran said. "It meant more than words could ever say to know that Vera and our family are loved that much and have support for anything we have to go through. We certainly could not have done this alone. It brought tears to my eyes.”
A special thank you was posted to the following runners for bringing a smile to our faces today: Mike Bates, Josh Milich, Brian Tjersland, Ryan Pelletier, Jeremy Fuller, Ryan Powers, Rob Serpa, Danielle Poyant, Kim Gibson, Erin Carr, and Lynn Poyant.
"When you have the most amazing friends who map out your daughter’s name as their running route to show their love - there are no words," Poyant-Moran said.
Poyant-Moran’s aunt, Lynn Poyant, carried a large teddy bear as a symbol of their favorite Princess Warrior, also known as “Vera Bear.”