12-year-old girl who suffered heart failure after COVID-19 diagnosis speaks out

NEW ORLEANS -- A 12-year-old girl is speaking out after suffering from heart failure during a grueling battle with COVID-19.

Juliet Daly went from living as a perfectly healthy preteen to being admitted to the ICU, said her mother, Jennifer Daly.

Three weeks ago, she was airlifted to Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, where doctors diagnosed her with a rare heart condition caused by inflammation.

"After they put the breathing tube down her throat, her heart stopped. They had to do extreme measures. They had to do two minutes of CPR," Jennifer Daly said.

"I died for two minutes," Juliet said.

"Yeah, and at that point, my whole world just crumbled," Jennifer added.

Juliet also tested positive for COVID-19. Although she didn't show the "typical" respiratory symptoms associated with the disease, her doctors said the coronavirus may have triggered the heart condition.

"COVID-19 can infect the heart, and it can cause the cells in the heart to be unhappy and actually start to die," said Dr. Jake Kleinmahon, a pediatric cardiologist at Ochsner Medical Center.

Juliet said the experience was "really bad."
"My stomach would not stop hurting, "she said. "I didn't want to move, I didn't want to live, I wanted for it all to stop."

Experts are saying children are presenting with different symptoms and are often diagnosed along with another virus.

Doctors in the United Kingdom and Italy said they've seen an increase in severely ill children with inflammatory conditions and multi-organ failure, similar to what Juliet experienced.

Experts stressed that such severe illness is extremely rare, as most children with confirmed COVID-19 have mild symptoms.

Juliet is fully recovered, and her mom calls her lucky.

"I'm so grateful the doctors were able to diagnose it so quickly and were able to get her treated," Jennifer said.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.