SAN DIEGO – Imagine surviving 2 brain tumor surgeries and over 30 radiation treatments, only to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
Shawn Mahoney and Mariel Mahoney were very concerned about Layla, their 6-year-old girl. Layla was diagnosed with the coronavirus in July. The vaccines had not been approved for children under 12.
One grader in the first class, who was selected this summer from among 60 other children participating in an ongoing clinical study of Moderna vaccination in children aged 6-11, nearly missed it.
Her father said that a cancer diagnosis would be sufficient to refuse admission for his daughter to the trial. On August 20, her first appointment for vaccination arrived. The diagnosis hadn’t been made. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (Tennesse) had not confirmed Rady Children’s Hospital’s initial diagnosis.
Drs continued to squeeze the plunger, but Shawn Mahoney received a call 10 minutes later from St. Jude’s specialists.
Mahoney explained that she was supposed to contact me one hour before, but some circumstances compelled her to delay. It was only done.”
Layla was not responsive to the first dose. Her parents were concerned that Layla was one of the 25% who had received saline injections, as Layla was less likely to have been in the placebo than among the 75% who got the vaccine.
A second shot was given a few more weeks later to celebrate her daughter, who suddenly became exhausted and had a fever.
These are known side effects to the immune system of someone who has received a vaccination.
She said that it was really cold here and I replied, “Yeah!” Mahoney responded. “Terrible parents! So glad our child has a lower fever!”
Your daughter will likely be receiving chemotherapy in the winter. Knowing this, along with the fact that the drugs can weaken the immune system is a good sign.
This alternative seemed almost impossible to contemplate.
Mahoney stated, “The thought was great. We beat cancer. But COVID took us out because we were immunocompromised. At this point, we are basically the same as an unvaccinated 85-year old person.”
Ezra Cohen (a medical oncologist who is also assistant director of translational sciences at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center) agreed. While the level of protection that the immune system provides during chemotherapy can vary widely, the specialist stated that vaccines before treatment give the body the best chance to fight the coronavirus.
Layla’s new school year has seen her talk about pumpkin handicrafts and other animals, but more importantly about the pets of her family, is more important than any discussion about her past vaccinations.
Her assessment of coronavirus vaccine is not based on her summer craniotomies with full-length hair and bright eyes.
“The first they had to pin down me,” she stated solemnly.
Is your child among the first to receive vaccines? She said that she was. “feels pretty good actually”. She would not hesitate to recommend the use of needles for other children, “so they don’t get germs.”
She prefers not to talk about topics that involve chocolate, and instead focuses on helping people to tell their dogs to stop eating it.
She was in pain and her parents drove Rady with her screaming, screaming, and begging for help on August 1. Anaplastic supratentorial pendymoma was a rare, large-sized tumor that was surgically removed on August 2.
As a precautionary measure, she will be undergoing further proton radiation. Chemotherapy will offer another form of insurance to prevent recurrence.
Layla will not see her cancer journey, but it is unlikely that many parents will. This particular tumor is only responsible for about 200 deaths per year in the United States.
Some adults continue to avoid COVID vaccinations. This will make the debate over vaccinating kids even more intense.
Shawn Mahoney, who has been through this entire process herself, understands that not everyone will do the right research.
Layla’s inclusion in Moderna was not an easy decision.
While his gut reaction was not a method to test with another child’s child for experimentation, the director and underwater videographer couldn’t resist diving deeper. The Moderna results for his vaccine among children aged 12-17 years old were the first thing he saw. These methods were strict, and large numbers of vaccines had been tested.
While there are many videos on Youtube claiming that the vaccine is dangerous, it doesn’t appear to be supported by the data.
He said, “The amount of people who had severe side effects was very small.”
He remained focused on primary sources and primarily the peer-reviewed study of the results of the studies, instead of websites that offer their opinion on how important those results are.
“I spent so much time on Clinicaltrials.gov looking at the studies, looking at the data, not the actual meat and potatoes from this one, you know, someone made a website or a youtube video that says whatever it is, ”said Mahoney. This isn’t where you need to be looking.
But this was only the beginning. He’s an expert in filming sharks, without having to eat, and not microbiology or virology.
His family includes health professionals so it was simple to get some feedback and make calls to them about what to do with the results. He said that Layla was the envy of most people.
Mahoney explained that the medical community can be described as a “call acceptance” and that there was probably at least a dozen doctors who were open to letting their children go.
Current participants in the Moderna trial will learn whether they have received a placebo if the FDA accepts Pfizer’s emergency use application in children. If so, those not vaccinated could opt out. This information is currently not available due to confidentiality rules. “blind”Rules to avoid research bias
Given their experience with cancer, the Mahoneys enjoy discussing vaccinations.
Layla’s tumor is known as the “ependymoma” and it lies on her left side. It was caused by mutations within the cells in fluid-filled areas around the brain.
These tumors can quickly infiltrate the brain, pressuring against or even infiltrating it.
Layla’s medical imaging revealed such a blockage, explained Dr. Michael Levy of Rady Children’s. He was the prominently publicized pediatric neurosurgeon that performed the two operations. She felt intense pain and sometimes fainted from it.
He said that the tumor was complex and large in its location near motor skills and language areas. It takes a lot of aggressive restraint to get rid of such an obstacle.
Levy stated that you are trying to reduce what your doing, based on the risks and benefits of nearby things. Too high can affect the language; too low, it will cause problems with its memory.
Layla is unlikely to have full hair again after such an invasive procedure, one of which involved incisions on her scalp. The common aspect of adult brain surgery is to shave the scalp close. But Levy said it was Rady’s policy to only shave an area of the scalp about the width of a pinky finger and carefully close it after surgery to minimize visibility.
“The trouble with peers can be so great that we do everything we can to make sure people don’t realize they have had an operation,””He said. “The ultimate goal is for no one to know the truth unless the patient tells it.”
Layla’s grandmother created a GoFundMe fundraiser to support spending and other charities.
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