By Megan Messerly/The Nevada Independent

Nate Young is not a kid of many words.

Lacing up his bright pink soccer cleats before practice on a warm summer evening in Las Vegas, the 11-year-old described his bout with COVID-19 in June as “not easy.”

His mom, Nichole, says it was a roller coaster.

Some days Nate felt fine, whiling away the hours playing video games. Some days he didn’t have energy to do anything. Quarantine came and went. A week later, Nate started experiencing severe gastrointestinal symptoms.

“He was in the bathroom, and he was just screaming in ways that I’ve never heard from him,” Nichole Young, 41, said. “He was like, ‘Mommy, please help me. Can you please?’ I went into the bathroom and he’s crying, he’s slumped over and half laying on the tub.”

Worried Nate had developed a rare, inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 in children, Young rushed her youngest son to the emergency room. X-rays and tests showed no signs of the condition, known as MIS-C, but Nate’s abdominal issues wouldn’t go away.

Two months later, his symptoms have improved but still haven’t resolved entirely.

Doctors have ruled out every other cause and suspect it may be long COVID, Young said, though they have no idea how long it will last.

She thinks back to how worried she was about her 15-year-old son Marlon, who is immunocompromised, catching COVID-19. Young wasn’t as concerned about Nate, who ended up contracting COVID-19 during what was supposed to be a safe, small gathering of two families of four in Orlando.

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