Arlington Family Shares Challenges of Caring for Two Young Sons With COVID-19

Catherine and Jeff Carlton say they were shocked when their 11 and 9-year-old sons caught the virus

NBCUniversal, Inc.

An Arlington family wants other families to know what it's like to have two young children sick with COVID-19.

Catherine and Jeff Carlton say they were shocked when their 11 and 9-year-old sons caught the virus.

Since the pandemic began, the Carltons say their biggest fear was 11-year-old Scotty catching the coronavirus.

His underlying conditions from a terminal birth defect put him at extreme risk for severe infection.

Last week, their fears were realized when he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Scotty’s bodily systems started to shut down or not function properly.

Scotty's gastrointestinal system wasn't working as normal, his fever spiked and he needed the supportive oxygen.

"Our fear since March has been that something like this could happen. What we had never anticipated, I guess, was that it would also impact our perfectly healthy children as well," said Jeff Carlton.

While Scotty was hospitalized for his illness, his otherwise healthy 9-year-old brother also tested positive for COVID-19.

"After the fever and cold-like symptoms, he did have some pretty severe headaches that continue, which are concerning for him and concerning for us," said Jeff.

After three days in the hospital, Scotty was, fortunately, allowed to go home, however, home life, which had already disrupted by the pandemic, is now unrecognizable.

The Carltons do their best to keep the boys isolated from their sister and other caregivers, as well as do their best to keep themselves from catching it as well.

Almost every action in the house leads to uncertainty.

"It's those little changes that you don't think about. Hw do we handle the microwave? 'Don't touch the refrigerator. Don't get near your sister,' and, 'no, masks aren't comfortable,' and he has to wear one all around the house! It's those things that we never would have thought of," said Catherine.

The Carltons said they are grateful for the support they’ve received at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, however, they remain discouraged that their personal struggle comes as they hear of families who believe the threat of the virus isn't real.

"We didn't think it would happen to us, in the sense of our other children, and it did. So it can happen to you," said Jeff.

The family will stay in quarantine for a total of 21 days unless another family member becomes ill.

So far, no other family member has contracted the virus, and while the boys are on the mend, they are still dealing with mild symptoms.

"We don’t know the long term effects. I would love to be able to say, 'whew, we got it. We are over it. We are safe now,' and that’s not even true yet. We aren’t out of the woods on this illness," said Catherine

You can read of their story here.

Contact Us