BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — “I thought that my daughter was dying in my arms,” reflected Adrienne Romanowicz.
It was a nightmare moment for Romanowicz of Buffalo as she watched her 18-year-old daughter Eva suffer a seizure while ill with COVID.
Eva had been living in New York City while attending her first year at Hunter College for all-remote learning.
But Eva and her boyfriend had most recently been quarantined in a bedroom at her mom’s Buffalo home after coming down with mild cases of COVID.
Eva’s mom says New Year's Eve she was feeling better, but a short time later, Eva lapsed into a seizure.
“And after that she was unconscious for at least another minute and honestly if felt more like a couple of years,” Romanowicz recalled. “This was the most terrifying experience I’ve ever — ever been through.”
Eva's younger sister, Grey, called 9-1-1.
“She is our hero — because we have no idea what would have happened. if somebody wasn’t there — if she hadn’t been there to call 9-1-1,” explained Romanowicz. “I was trying to pry daughter's mouth open — with my fingers so that i could get her to breathe.”
Emergency crews brought Eva to Buffalo General Hospital. She underwent a battery of tests for the seizure, but all came back negative.
“But they did not see any abnormalities at all — so you know we can assume that this probably was from COVID,” said Romanowicz.
“Any sever viral illness can lead to a situation that can trigger a seizure,” explained Dr. Rachel Kaufman, pediatrician, Buffalo Pediatric Associates.
Dr. Kaufman said normally it is children under the age of five, with fevers, who are most at risk of seizures.
“It's much easier for a child's brain to be induced into a seizure due to rapid temperature changes than it is to an adult, just because of the nature of a growing brain as opposed to a mature brain,” Dr. Kaufman noted.
Romanowicz said her daughter never had a fever.
Dr. Kaufman said she is not seeing any kind of “epidemic of seizures in adolescents” tied to COVID.
Eva is back home recovering, but her mom is very worried.
“It’s been so scary because I keep thinking is it going to happen again,” Romaonwicz remarked. “There’s no official playbook to tell us what might happen with COVID.”