A 10-year-old boy from Stockton hospitalised with COVID-19 has become one of the first patients in the region to be involved in a special research study.
Aiden Kallagher-Temple was offered the chance to be part of a national trial by staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Aiden, who is from Hartburn, said he wanted to be involved after research staff spoke to him during his stay in the children’s ward at the University Hospital of North Tees.
Aiden first started feeling unwell in December – suffering repeated vomiting at home. His mother Jane spoke to his GP and he was referred to the Trust for suspected appendicitis.
Jane explains: “Aiden was very unwell for several days – I was concerned as he wasn’t improving. When he arrived at hospital he had a routine test which came back positive for COVID-19.
“He was then diagnosed with paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS-TS), something I had never heard of before.”
PIMS is a rare condition in children who have coronavirus – it occurs when the body’s immune system responds to the virus and goes into overdrive.
Staff in the unit explained about the RECOVERY national research trial into different potential treatments for the virus.
As part of this, Aiden was randomised to a dose of intravenous immunoglobulin, which is being tested as a possible treatment for children.
Jane added: “The doctors told us that Aiden’s body was fighting the virus and his organs were in a battle with it.
“After having the treatment he started to pull around – it seemed to make a massive difference.
“Sleeping with him in a room in the children’s ward for several nights, I was worried. But the calm and compassionate care the staff gave to Aiden, along with the successful medication, really helped so much.
“The staff all made him feel so special, they were fantastic.”
Only child in study
Alex Ramshaw, the Trust’s lead research nurse for the trial, said: “I am pleased to say that Aiden is the only child we have treated for COVID-19 in this study.
“The team spoke to Aiden and his mum about the trial and he was very happy to be involved.
“Thanks to Aiden and the many other children across the country who have been a part of this trial, we are learning more and more about this virus.
“Health outcomes are improving and fewer people are getting really sick as a result.”