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12-year-old with asthma can’t get COVID-19 test; rest of family now suffering symptoms

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PEORIA (HOI) - 12-year-old Lily Arvin has struggled with asthma her entire life. Her mom, Liz, said she knew something else was wrong a little less than two weeks ago when Lily's fever spiked and heart-rate jumped. Lily didn't complain. She didn't even mention the tightness in her chest from the day before.

"It's really scary. Lily will get through anything. She's fine, whatever she's going through she's always fine," explained Liz Arvin. She called the family doctor, and was told to head to the Emergency Room. Lily was tested for Influenza A & B. Both tests negative. Arvin then said the doctors admitted Lily probably had COVID-19, but said a test would cost $1500, and she doesn't qualify.

Unsure where Lily may have contracted the novel coronavirus, Liz said they finally discovered she did come into contact with someone who traveled abroad. But that wasn't enough to get a test. The person she came into contact with had to have been tested positive. Or, Lily must be in such dire straights she would have to be admitted. Then, she might get tested.

The doctors sent them home. Arvin said the doctors explained, "There's nothing more that we can do at the hospital than you can do at home. She stayed just kind of in bed the whole weekend."

Then a few days later, mom, dad, and Lily's 15-year-old brother Jake, all showed symptoms. "You know when they say it feels like I've been hit by a Mack truck? That's kind of how I felt," explained Arvin. After calling the doctor again, and another trip to a Peoria ER, none of them were tested. A few days later Lily's heart rate spiked again.

"It was really easy to deal with when it was far away and it was happening to other people. But when it comes here it is very, it feels very life and death," said Liz. Lily had a full respiratory array done. She tested positive only for RSV. A respiratory infection affecting infants, and elderly. This couldn't have been what's causing all these symptoms Arvin said.

When she left the ER for the 3rd time in a month, her discharge papers said they cannot guarantee she doesn't have it, and all four of them should self quarantine for twelve days.

"The doctors really care, they're doing the best they can, but there's not much they can do," explained Arvin. She said the doctors have their hands tied.

Wednesday, state and local leaders explained even tighter restrictions for testing. "The highest priority for testing for covid 19 is for hospitalized patients and symptomatic healthcare workers," explained Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Alvin says she believes that if they knew for certain that Lily didn't have COVID-19, she would most likely be better by now. Arvin adding, "If it's not COVID then let us give our kid a steroid so they can get over whatever they have. As a mom, I'm frustrated as hell. I don't know who has the testing supplies. Where's it come from and who's holding it up. Who should we be angry with?"

Arvin says her advice for other parents, stay inside, take care of your loved ones, and see this through. But don't expect to get tested.

The whole family is still under quarantine for a few more days.

Kyle Beachy

Kyle Beachy is a Multimedia Journalist for 25 News and Heart of Illinois. Born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana, he attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he studied Education and played baseball. He comes to us from Columbus, Ohio where he received a Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University.

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