Statesboro High football player hospitalized with COVID-19 complications


ByLyndsey Gough|September 10, 2020 at 10:46 PM EDT - Updated September 10 at 11:50 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - 14-year old Key Parrish thought that he would be practicing at Statesboro High with his football teammates the past few weeks, but instead, he was quarantined at Memorial Hospital in Savannah.

Parrish’s mother, Ashley White said it began on August 27 with a low-grade fever.

After three days and more COVID symptoms, they made three trips to East Georgia Regional, and Parrish received the COVID test from three different places. All came back negative.

His mother continued to advocate for him, and Parrish was transferred from Statesboro to Memorial’s pediatric intensive care unit on September 1, where he tested tested positive for COVID-19.

“He went into cardiac arrest, cardiac shock. It has been an experience the last nine, ten days," said White. "they diagnosed him with myocarditis, you know, swelling of the heart. He will be seeing a respiratory therapist and cardiologist.”

Parrish also sustained some liver damage. His mother said he had no underlying conditions, but this virus and ordeal is something she wouldn’t wish on anyone.

“I was scared, because there were moments when I couldn’t even hold a conversation for long," Parrish explained from his hospital bed hours before he got discharged. "I couldn’t talk really. I couldn’t eat like I wanted to.”

White said it was heartbreaking seeing her child so sick, but the important thing is he is still with her today.

Parrish was discharged around 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 10.

She hopes people take the CDC guidelines, and the virus, seriously.

“My son, was almost, you know, was almost at the point of, is he going to make it or not? That’s how bad it really aggressively attacked his immune system.”

Parrish had gone to school and football conditioning for a few days, but stayed home once he stated feeling sick.

White said she felt like the team and school did everything they could to keep him safe while he was there, and they aren’t sure where he contracted coronavirus.

Last Friday the football team did cancel their season opener and the school district confirmed that the team resumed practice Tuesday.

The Blue Devils aren’t scheduled to play this Friday night, but they are scheduled to play next Friday night.

White has taken off work indefinitely to help her Parrish while he recovers and goes to follow-up appointments. If you would like to contribute to help the family with medical expenses, they have a PayPal account set up: PalPal.Me/Awhite0215.

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