Statesboro High student diagnosed with myocarditis


STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – A Statesboro High School freshman is spending his ninth night in the hospital after contracting COVID-19.

Doctors diagnosed Jayden Keyshawn Parrish with myocarditis — inflammation of the heart caused when the body tries to fight off the virus.

News 3 is told the 14-year-old, also known as Key, had no underlying medical conditions. He attended school and football practice for three weeks before exhibiting symptoms on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Key’s mother, Ashley White, brought him to the ER at East Georgia Regional Medical Center twice over the weekend. White said the football player was experiencing shortness of breath among other classic symptoms of COVID-19.

She told News 3 that the nurse practitioners would not give Key a COVID-19 test because they were not admitting him as a patient. He was written a prescription for antibiotics and sent home.

The third time White brought Key to the ER, he was transferred to Memorial Health where he spent six days in the ICU.

“When I look at my child, him having to lie there in that bed and then the night that he went into cardiac shock, it gave me a different perspective about COVID, that no one is exempt,” said White. “No one is eliminated.”

Dr. Bryan Hartley, a cardiologist at Memorial, told News 3 that someone who is perfectly healthy can develop myocarditis, and a severely weakened heart muscle, just like someone can with a lot of other underlying medical problems.

“For patients who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, we think that the incidents of developments with heart problems might be as high as 30%. That’s not insignificant,” said Hartley.

Hartley told News 3 that patients with this severe condition require follow up care and specialized heart medication. Key will need appointments with a cardiologist for six to nine months.

“I wouldn’t want anybody to experience anything like this. If you can help save a life or protect someone, as much as people may not want to, but they’re begging and pleading with us, please wear your mask,” said White. “Protect yourself. Protect someone else.”

Key is in recovery and able to breathe on his own. His mother says his teachers and football team at Statesboro High School have been calling and texting to check on him every day. She told News 3 she does not blame Bulloch County Schools or the Blue Devils for her son’s coronavirus. She believes they took every precaution for students and staff members. White is just grateful for their support during this time.

White says she’ll be isolating with Key for several weeks, and has not been able to work during the pandemic. She asks anyone who can help her family to do so through the following avenues:

News 3 reached out to EGRMC for comment. We are still waiting on a call back.

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