CIMARRON, Kan. (KSNW) – Family’s lives have been turned upside down from the pandemic, including a western Kansas family.
Eli and Brooke Applegate welcomed their second son, Declan, into the world in July, in the middle of a global pandemic. Little did they know the rollercoaster ride that is COVID was just beginning. Just weeks ago their toddler, Andrew, began feeling under the weather.
“He started just kinda showing signs that he wasn’t feeling good. Like he kept pulling on his neck, pulling on his face and since he’s nonverbal, it’s really hard to guess what’s going on,” said Andrew’s mother, Brooke Applegate.
After seeing the pediatrician, the Applegate’s were told Andrew had an ear infection and most likely a headache, but that he should be okay after a round of antibiotics.
Andrew seemed to respond well to the treatment and things were looking up, but by the end of the week, it was a different story.
“Saturday night, in the middle of the night, he woke up around midnight and was struggling to breathe,” said Brooke.
Later that morning, Andrew was taken to the hospital, swabbed for COVID, and the test came back positive.
“I was hysterical in the ER. I wouldn’t say I thought it wouldn’t happen to us, but it did, and when it’s your kid, it’s just way worse,” said Brooke.
He was immediately admitted to the ICU, put on oxygen, given steroids and antibiotics, and breathing treatments every few hours.
“It didn’t hit me until I walked into the room. You know it was really hard. It really was,” said Andrew’s father, Eli Applegate. “It’s hard to see your kid hooked up to a bunch of machines.”
Eventually, Andrew’s oxygen levels became stable and he started feeling better, and after spending several days in the hospital, he was released.
“They took really good care of him and it all worked out,” said Eli.
Andrew has a lingering cough, but is back to his normal self.
“He’s back to being a crazy two-year-old,” said Brooke.
The rest of the family never experienced any symptoms of COVID. They say with the major help of Western Plains Medical Complex in Dodge City and their pediatrician, Dr. Moffitt, they’ve been able to get through this whirlwind of the virus.
“Once our doctor [Dr. Moffitt] came in, it was such a relief. He takes such good care of Andrew,” said Brooke. “They [Western Plains Medical Complex] took amazing care of us.”
The Applegate’s say a positive that has come from it all is that the pandemic has made life slow down.