Four year-old Stella Martin has been permanently paralyzed after a Covid infection caused her spine to become inflamed. The virus also killed her father while she was being treated in hospital (Pictures: KOAT/UNM Hospital)
A four year-old girl was left permanently paralyzed after a Covid-linked infection inflamed her spine, with the virus also killing her father. Stella Martin spent eight months in hospital after a coronavirus infection triggered a condition called Acute Transverse Myelitis.
That saw the gray and white matter of Stella’s spinal cord inflamed, with the ensuring damage meaning the youngster, from Counselor in New Mexico, can no longer use her legs. Doctors think Stella’s Covid infection caused a massive immune response which led to the debilitating condition.
The little girl can move her arms slightly, but doctors have warned Stella’s mom it is unlikely she will regain much more movement in her limbs.
She left hospital with her mother Cassandra Yazzie earlier this month, and now faces grieving for her father Hershel Pinto, who was killed by Covid on January 4 aged just 29.
Stella told KOAT: ‘I miss my daddy.’ She has urged others to heed warnings about how serious a Covid infection can be, and urged them to wear masks to try and stop the virus from being spread.
Cassandra said that despite her daughter’s lengthy hospital ordeal, Stella soon became a favorite face at the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was treated.
Cassandra said: ‘Every person there, she tells them she loves them. She checks up on the staff. When they’d come in, she’d ask, “Are you okay?” She calls them all her friends.’
Experts initially believed that Covid posed little risk to children. But they now think it can cause a condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), which leads to an inflammation of sufferers’ blood vessels, and can be deadly.
Covid has now infected close to 25.6million Americans, and killed almost 430,000.
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