Little River family urges others to get vaccinated after 17-year-old hospitalized with COVID-19

Grand Strand

LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WBTW)– A 17-year-old from Little River has been in the pediatric intensive care unit since mid-August after facing severe illness due to COVID-19.

Christian Davila went to the hospital after he had trouble walking. He spent two weeks on a ventilator, but his doctor said he is improving.

“When I first heard about this COVID, I thought it was nothing serious, nothing more than just the flu,” said Anthony Rainey, Davila’s father. “This thing has chewed his lungs up to the point where they had to put him on a ventilator. He couldn’t breathe. It affected his kidneys, his liver.”

Davila is undergoing occupational therapy at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s hospital in Charleston.

“As a parent, you feel like you failed,” Rainey said.

Elizabeth Mack has been part of the team caring for Davila since he arrived in Charleston. She said that statewide only 25% children between the ages of 12 and 19 have been fully vaccinated.

She said the hospital has not seen a single child admitted who was vaccinated.

Since he tested positive, Davila’s entire family has been vaccinated. They hope their experience can show people that anyone can face severe illness — including otherwise healthy children.

“COVID took all my stamina away,” Davila said. “When I went to the hospital, a lot of my friends realized this is not a joke.”

Davila’s fraternal twin brother also tested positive for COVID-19, but did not experience severe symptoms.

“You need to get vaccinated,” Rainey said. “If you’re not going to do it for yourself and you have children, you need to do it for your children.”

Mack said there are 36 children hospitalized with COVID-19 in South Carolina’s four major children’s hospitals. Of those, 16 are in intensive care units, six are on a ventilator and two have had their lungs bypassed.

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