Warren teen survives life-threatening COVID-19 encounter, encourages peers to get vaccinated

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Posted at 8:21 AM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 18:18:50-04

WARREN, Ohio — A Northern Ohio teen is encouraging her peers to get vaccinated after her own serious battle with the coronavirus brought her to Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

Sandy Rose, a 17-year-old and high school cheerleader, had no idea her life would change somewhat overnight.

“I honestly had no idea what was happening at the time,” she said.

In March she got really sick and tested positive for COVID, after a few days she was rushed to Akron Children’s Hospital.

Sandy’s father, Terry, was confused.

“The general serious warning issues with COVID just weren't present,” said Terry Rose.

But it wasn’t just covid.

While at the hospital, doctors found Sandy was also suffering from Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) from undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes, which was causing symptoms like increased thirst and more trips to the bathroom.

“We didn't didn't realize how bad it was going to get in the coming days, either,” Terry Rose said.

After insulin treatments, Sandy went into multi-organ failure.

“When you hear they're going to send your kid to Cleveland Clinic. I mean, that obviously is telling of how serious it is,” Terry Rose said.

Sandy stayed on the ventilator for five days and stayed in the hospital for two months. Most of her time was spent in physical rehab rebuilding muscle mass. In addition, Sandy had to rebuild her strength to stand and walk again.

“She was on a ventilator on life support, getting medications through her IVs to help support her blood pressure so that we could reverse the shock with the antibiotics,” said Dr. Samir Latifi of Pediatric Clinical Care of Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

Now, Sandy's life is different. The 17-year-old is hoping her friends get vaccinated and take COVID seriously.

“I encourage it, obviously, because of what I went through. But it's all up to them,” said Sandy.