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Nasir Striggs was first hospitalized at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore in early April. His mother, Deshannon Striggs, brought him in for an examination after she noticed her son was experiencing trouble breathing.
He tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital. An X-ray revealed he also had pneumonia in both lungs. The child, diagnosed with sickle cell disease, an inherited red blood cell disorder, underwent several blood transfusions at the hospital before his release.
“He had to keep getting stuck by the needle because the needle kept coming out,” the mother told WBAL. “To watch him go through that, it was really scary.”
After undergoing treatment for several days, his condition began to improve, Deshannon said. She said prayers and support, as well as the dedicated care from the hospital’s medical team, have helped her son’s recovery.
“Just keep the faith. That’s the message: keep the faith,” she said.
Deshannon said doctors have been monitoring Nasir's condition via virtual check-ups since he was discharged from the hospital. Photos she shared with Fox News show the boy at home smiling, his face mask pulled beneath his chin.
Sickle cell disease is usually diagnosed shortly after birth. The genetic disorder results in oxygen-carrying red blood cells taking on a C or “sickle” shape, instead of round, often getting stuck in small blood vessels and clogging blood flow, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Children with the disease are at an increased risk of infection and other health problems. The only known cure is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.