A North Carolina TV news anchor spoke of her family’s unexpected battle with COVID-19 after her entire family contracted the virus just days after giving birth.
Molly Grantham, who works with the Charlotte CBS affiliate WBTV, first shared the harsh and often complicated realities faced by families under the spell of the coronavirus.
“This is not an invented, fictional disease,” Grantham wrote in a now-viral Facebook post on Sunday.
‘It is real. I watched my 10-day child receive a nasal swab from a nurse practitioner, covered from head to toe in a protective suit, while his 9-year-old sister tried to calm him down without being allowed to touch him.
“This, while I was in another car looking at X-rays with a doctor and looking for lumps in my lungs. ‘
Molly Grantham (pictured), a TV news anchor for WBTV, was diagnosed with COVID-19 just days after giving birth to her newborn son, Michael Hobie
At just 10 days old, Grantham’s newborn was “the youngest person tested in Mecklenburg County” and “youngest presumably positive.”
It would later be revealed that Grantham, her husband Wes and two of their three children all contracted the coronavirus in July.
The terrifying ordeal began when Grantham went to Charlotte hospital on July 14 to give birth to her youngest son, Hobie Michael.
When Grantham and Hobie first came home from the hospital, their family smothered the baby with hugs and kisses to welcome the newest member.
Unbeknownst to them, the couple’s nine-year-old daughter had contracted the virus while Grantham was in the hospital.
The young girl, named Parker, was initially asymptomatic before starting to complain of a soaring throat and popping ears when she swallowed less than 18 hours after they reunited.
Grantham initially brushed off the symptoms as allergies, but the coronavirus was still fresh on her mind after spending hours in a medical center.
According to Grantham’s Facebook post, nine-year-old Parker first felt COVID-19 symptoms before quickly spreading to the rest of the family. In the photo (left to right): Hutch, Molly, Hobie Michael and Parker
As a precaution, Grantham had Parker and her eldest son, five-year-old Hutch, tested at the family’s pediatrician, but did not believe they could become infected.
‘I half thought I was a helicopter parent crazy, but whatever. Nothing was lost if the test was negative, ‘she wrote.
Later, the family’s pediatrician would note that COVID-19 exposure can be anywhere
“The cat is out of the bag,” Grantham recalled the pediatrician said.
We all have to be careful, but there is a chance that everyone will ever get it. We hear every day from people who are positive and have no idea where they got it. ‘
The pediatrician instructed the family of five to cancel scheduled visits and quarantine together until the children’s results returned.
Grantham spent that night comforting her daughter, who was stricken with nausea, sweat, fever, and restlessness.
‘[Parker] came over to me crying, feeling nauseous, with her hair clumping from her forehead, wet and sticky. She slept on the floor, skin soaked and one arm wrapped around a bowl, ”Grantham wrote.
She felt like hell. Wes and I spent more time with her that night than with four-day-old Hobie. ‘
Grantham’s Facebook post about her family’s experience with COVID-19 has gone viral with more than 64,000 shares
Seeing her daughter sick while looking at a newborn, Grantham recalled how dangerous those times feel amid the COVID-19 pandemic,
“Here’s the truth: I was petrified,” she wrote. Every gruesome headline I’ve read and reported on came back to my mind.
“Seeing Parker tossing and sweating, combined with having a newborn baby nearby with no immune system, combined with mid-night blurry-indistinct thoughts… it got horrible.”
The family was optimistic when Parker woke up the next day feeling “better,” but the ordeal took a different turn when Grantham’s husband admitted he couldn’t taste, smell, and felt exhausted. He too was tested.
Even if Parker was a stomach virus, the only symptom that defines coronavirus is “no taste; no odor. “We had to assume Wes was positive,” she wrote.
Grantham felt pain in the body and was also exhausted, but she blamed those symptoms for postpartum-like symptoms.
Later, a pediatrician confirmed that Parker had contracted COVID-19, but Hutch’s results were negative.
The family had to assume it was a false negative or a bad cotton swab and consider Hutch as “presumably positive.”
During a video call, the pediatrician recommended that Parker, Hutch, and Wes be quarantined in one part of the house, while Grantham stayed with the baby in another.
Grantham: ‘I watched my 10-day child get a nasal swab from a nurse practitioner wearing a protective suit from head to toe while his 9-year-old sister tried to calm him down without being allowed to touch him’ Pictured: Parker ( center) and Hobie Michael (right)
‘Keep Hutch away from Hobie in the same house? I thought she was joking, ”Grantham wrote.
But quarantining and wearing masks in the house turned out to be too much for the family, and Grantham admitted it wasn’t ‘realistic’ to get P and H through walls. ‘
After one day, the family resumed normal interactions, despite Grantham’s body aches getting worse and a newly developed “throbbing headache that wouldn’t go away.”
Wes’s COVID-19 test results were positive and Hutch was hit with a fever of 100.7F.
“Suppose he has it,” a pediatrician told Grantham of Hutch. His symptoms are only a week late. Molly – you should get tested. ‘
Grantham was hesitant at first – she didn’t have a fever and didn’t have any symptoms like her family.
“Needing a fever is a misconception with the coronavirus,” the pediatrician told Grantham.
You are at high risk with a newborn and three of your family members are certainly positive now. Get tested. ‘
Grantham visited a drive-thru clinic to undergo a rapid test and was told by a nurse that she needed a chest X-ray after a severe cough interrupted their conversation.
The nurse also suggested that 10-day-old Hobie be tested as well.
Grantham was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia. Hobie’s test was negative.
Like Hutch, the family were told to believe Hobie was positive when they returned home.
More than 10 days later, Hobie did not show any symptoms. I’ve watched him like a hawk. Studied every breath as he watched his little rib cage rise and fall, ” Grantham wrote.
Since then, Grantham has been treating her pneumonia and COVID-19 symptoms while on maternity leave.
In a final note, Grantham revealed that the whole family is gradually recovering.
Relief is an underestimated sensation. It covers me up now as I watch the kids argue and Hobie smiles sleepily and Wes is feeling fine, ‘she wrote.
‘And yes… I am getting my energy back. Not 100%, but it is a nice feeling to know that it will be okay. ‘
Finally, she urged people to be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and to be on the lookout for misinformation.
‘Be careful. Share the lessons. Symptoms range from almost anything mild to anything remarkable. Please be smart and only spread factual information, ”she wrote.
The United States continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic as the country records more than 4.8 million cases and 160,000 deaths.
North Carolina has managed not to become a COVID-19 hotspot in the past six months, but still recorded a number of cases and deaths.
On Friday morning, North Caroline health officials counted 132,000 confirmed infections and a death toll of 2,159.
Mecklenburg County, which was mentioned in Grantham’s Facebook post, has collected 21,876 infections and 225 deaths.