South Carolina 4-year-old recovers from rare COVID-19 complication after first in the nation treatment


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WBTW) — Doctors in Charleston are the first in the nation to administer one medication as part of a clinical trial for Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.

MIS-C is similar to Kawasaki Disease and only presents after COVID-19 has left the body.

“It’s thought to be a post-infectious inflammatory response to the virus,” Doctor Allison Eckard, Director of Pediatric Infectious Disease at MUSC said. “In this case, the children are no longer infectious with the virus, but their body is still trying to fight it off.”

Dr. Eckard says the medication, remestemcel-L, had previously been studied to treat a different condition, but now is being used in clinical trials for MIS-C on patients like K.J. Griffin, a 4-year-old from Smoaks, South Carolina.

“When he first came in, he was very critically ill,” Dr. Eckard said. “He was in shock. Meaning that, his body wasn’t able to deliver blood to his organs properly, therefore, there was evidence that his organs started to shut down.”

Eckard says, it took longer than a day to get him stabilized, but they then determined he was a candidate for the trial and administered two I-V infusions of the trial medication.

Since, his lab numbers returned to normal levels and he was allowed to go home; a result Dr. Eckard says is exciting and promising.

“It is so wonderful to see him doing well, and being healthy, and being able to go home.”

She says the hospital got involved with a clinical trial to treat MIS-C through one of the doctors at MUSC.

“One of our hematology oncology physicians had been involved in those studies in the past,” she explained. “Mesoblast reached out to her to see if we would be interested in participating for children with MIS-C.”

Since the pandemic began, 13 South Carolina kids have been diagnosed with MIS-C; two of those are in the News13 viewing area.

Across the nation, 11 kids have died from MIS-C.

Dr. Eckard tells News13, while the condition is rare, MIS-C is extremely dangerous, but they are equipped to care for patients at MUSC.

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