Kelsey Blais says she didn’t think much of it when she began feeling a head cold coming on last Tuesday.
Her symptoms weren’t serious and no one else in her family was sick.
But the Stephenville, N.L., woman knew something was wrong when her three-month-old son, Wesley, became lethargic the following day.
“[He was] taking longer naps and wasn’t really being smiley like he usually is,” Blais said.
She took a rapid test, which came back positive for COVID-19, and by suppertime on Wednesday, she said, Wesley had developed symptoms as well — a barking cough and difficulty breathing.
Her husband took their son to the emergency room.
“They weren’t in Stephenville emerg for even 20 minutes and they put him in an ambulance and brought him straight to Corner Brook hospital,” she said.
“His oxygen was very low and he needed to be monitored by a pediatrician in Corner Brook.”
Her son spent the next three nights in the ICU, hooked up to oxygen.
“His X-rays showed that he had two spots on his lungs of infection from COVID,” she said.
‘I felt so useless and helpless’
While Wesley was in hospital, Blais was at home fighting her own battle with the virus, getting updates on her son’s condition over the phone.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever went through in my life. It was so heartbreaking for me,” she said.
“Just being on speakerphone with Justin in the room — that’s my husband — and speaking to the doctors and not really knowing what my baby was feeling, that was so hard for me. I felt so useless and helpless.”
Wesley was released from hospital on Saturday with steroids and a puffer, but Kelsey said he’ll still have to go back for more X-rays later.
Her husband has also since tested positive, but her two other children are negative and have been staying with their grandparents.
Despite being fully vaccinated and taking precautions, Blais said, she’s not sure where she would have caught COVID-19.
“I obviously don’t leave my house. I have three small babies under four years old. We don’t party, we don’t do anything,” she said.
Now Blais wants to make sure people understand the effect the virus can have.
“I want everyone to get vaccinated, educate yourselves, because this is not a regular flu. It feels like I have been in a terrible car accident, that’s how sore my body is,” she said.
“I cannot imagine what my three-month-old baby’s feeling, because obviously he cannot be vaccinated. Protect the vulnerable, because it’s not fair.”