ARLINGTON, Texas - Scotty Carlton was born with a profound cognitive disability. Doctors said he would only survive two years.
Now, against even more odds, the 11-year-old is fighting COVID-19.
“We are used to some of his conditions and we were like, ‘OK, that’s just the reflux or maybe he just has a cold.’ So it was still crushing when it came down to that phone call,” Scotty’s mother, Catherine Carlton, said about learning he had tested positive for the virus.
The family of five then braced themselves. More tests revealed their 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, was also positive.
“Jeffrey did have some symptoms, so once we knew Scotty had it, if anyone was going to have it, it’s still just disbelief that it’s the two of them and not all of us,” Catherine added.
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Scotty and Jeffrey spent several days at Cook Children’s Hospital. Thankfully, their conditions allowed them to return home, where there is now yet another challenge, a double quarantine.
“We have designated areas. The 9-year-old has his own chair, his own kitchen table set up to eat. He has a designated bathroom, so we’re doing the best we can,” Catherin explained. “Don’t touch the refrigerator, but really the challenging part for him he’s wearing a mask in the house and we haven’t had contact with him. That’s hard on him and it’s hard on us too.”
“Anytime somebody in this house coughs or has a tickle in the throat or just doesn’t feel right, you’re on high alert. It’s like living with a low level of such dread,” their father, Jeff, added.
Catherine and Jeff chose to share their story to attach real faces to the havoc COVID-19 can cause with families like their own, especially those with children who have special needs.
“There are several hundred thousand medically fragile kids in Texas alone. They all have siblings and parents and grandparents. These kids are way more susceptible to this thing. When they end up sick with COVID-19, there is a ripple effect on all those caregivers, little brothers, big sisters, and grandparents,” Jeff said.