THE MUM of one of the youngest coronavirus patients in Northern Ireland has spoken of her joy after her one-year-old son beat the deadly disease.
Danielle Thompson's youngest son Kainan suffers from a rare kidney disease and tested positive for Covid-19 on May 1 at Antrim Area Hospital.
After weeks of isolation and hospital visits, Kainan was tested again on Friday, May 22, and given the all-clear for the virus.
Speaking to Sunday Life, Danielle said at first she thought he had a urine infection but followed her motherly instincts not to wait around to find out.
"Kainan has polycystic kidney disease which is a chronic kidney illness, and one of the symptoms is a urine infection. He had a really high temperature and was really drowsy and everything," said the Ballymena woman.
"I had rang my GP to get his urine checked and was waiting for them to get community nurses out to me but I myself thought, I'm not waiting until the next day, and went to Antrim Area Hospital A&E.
"They thought it was a viral infection and they were going to send him home but they took his temperature and it was 39.6c so they decided to keep him in for the night.
"They then swabbed him and everything was okay through the night. They also thought it might have been tonsillitis as he had some wee ulcers in his mouth.
"They sent us home the next day and we got a call a day or so later to say he had tested positive. They told us to self-isolate for the 14 days and to let them know if there were any changes in his condition.
"We had to go back a few nights later; due to the ulcers in his mouth he was struggling to eat or drink anything because his wee mouth was so sore.
"They gave him some paracetamol and it all settled down - within about a week he was getting back to himself.
"Then the other week there he was very lethargic and tired and had no interest in anything so we ended up back in the hospital again and they did another test for Covid-19.
"They wanted to see if the virus was still there or had come back but it came back negative and he was clear of the virus.
"That was exactly three weeks on from the positive test and it was absolutely fantastic news. The Antrim Area Hospital were incredible in the way they treated and looked after him.
"They were very on the ball and got his bloods and stuff done quickly because of his kidney problems, they were just amazing.
"They have even given us a wee pass and if there is anything wrong we can just go straight up there, which helps and is a real comfort."
Danielle is also mum to Kori (8), Kye (7) and Kinley (2). She said attempting to manage the virus inside the household was one of the major challenges she faced.
"The main difference in our day-to-day lives was just having to be more careful about everything and telling the kids to make sure if they touched him to wash their hands. We told them to try their best not to be hoking at him.
"One of my children has autism and it was all a bit much for him. We took it as it came and dealt with it day by day, making sure he was passing urine and getting enough fluids in.
"Everything is completely back to normal now, he's completely negative from the virus but his kidneys were having to work so hard he's had a few minor issues since, but we're not sure if the two are related.
"It's been great how quickly he got over it, we had been self-isolating from a week before lockdown due to his illness.
"Even with not being out he still got it, despite us all shielding due to his risk. It was very scary. My dad is high-risk, too, and had to come out of his isolation to get food for us at one point.
"It made everything a lot more frightening, him having to put his life at risk to help us, it was very stressful."
Danielle is delighted at her son's recovery but pleaded with people to continue to take the disease seriously and warned against the easing of lockdown restrictions.
She added: "I think people should not take any chances whatsoever. I thought this was just a urine infection so I would say to other parents who have concerns or doubts to go to your GP or A&E. I can't fault the health services in any way, they were brilliant.
"Everyone thinks it's a scary thing to happen and situation to be in but they just made it so much easier for us. People should take no chances and get seen.
"I think the lifting of restrictions is a little too fast and people aren't taking this as seriously as they should be, which is frustrating.
"On the other hand, we did everything we could and our son still got it. I can understand why some people think that way.
"Again, I can't thank the NHS and key workers enough, I'd also like to thank Dunclug Youth Forum and Connolly's Spar & Off Sales Dunclug who have really helped our family during all this."
The youngest Covid-19 survivor in Northern Ireland is believed to be six-month-old Lexie Girvan from Newtownabbey, whose mum Claira Keenan told Sunday Life her story last month.