While statistics show that children are less susceptible to COVID-19, it does not mean they are immune to it – as one Mattapoisett family discovered the hard way.

On Tuesday, Juliet Xifaras posted to Facebook asking for prayers for her son, Thomas. Tuesday was the fifth day that Thomas was showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus and Juliet said she remained “hopeful that he (would) turn the corner and not need to be hospitalized.” While Juliet is nervous, like any mother would be, she is quick to say how strong and brave her little boy is.

Whatever your opinion may be concerning this virus, Juliet offered some words for anyone who may not be taking this seriously. This is what she had to say:

“For anyone out there still not taking this virus seriously, I urge you to consider our family’s journey. I say this with humility because I was naïve. I had faith in our strong immune systems and good health histories. I still do and that has helped us. But, the thing I didn’t understand is that this rare inflammatory condition (MIS-C) that affects children...it affects healthy children.”

Juliet went on to explain that her son’s symptoms dramatically worsened over the course of a few days.

“Quite frankly,” she said, “It has been frightening.”

Yesterday, she provided an update on Thomas’s condition, explaining that he did need emergency help. He has since returned home and she was overflowing with gratitude for Dr. Athena Xifaras, her cousin, who is part of the team of Boston Children’s physicians in the pediatric ER at St. Luke’s Hospital. Juliet made it known that she gained comfort from the care given by Dr. Xifaras and her team members, Dr. Brian Sard and Brenda Marino, RN.

“Since leaving the ER on Sunday,” Juliet wrote, “I have been able to manage Thomas’s care in large part because I am blessed and privileged to have my cousin Athena…It’s been a bumpy ride with highs and lows and I honestly wouldn’t be able to keep Thomas at home if it weren’t for Athena’s compassionate and smart guidance.”

I got a chance to speak with her this afternoon, and after things settle down a bit, physically and emotionally, she will be providing an update on Thomas and her family. For now, we will continue to pray for Thomas’s speedy recovery.

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