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DENVER (KDVR) — Fifteen-year-old Connor McPhilomy is going through multiple straight days of testing with specialists at the Pediatric Post COVID Clinic at National Jewish Health in Denver.

The high school sophomore is one of the COVID long-haulers being treated there.

“It’s not just adults and older people that get affected by this,” Connor said.

Since January, the straight-A student has missed hundreds of classes. “I sleep probably around 16 hours a day,” he said. 

Connor went from playing high school baseball to living with headaches, nausea, brain fog, extreme fatigue and breathing issues.

“A flight of stairs now can cause shortness of breath where he feels like he might pass out,” said Connor’s mother, Stephanie McPhilomy. “To see your kid be sick for almost a year and change his entire world, it’s hard,” she said. 

Dr. Nathan Rabinovitch runs the pediatric program that has treated about 20 kids so far. “Symptoms can be severe in kids. It happens less often than adults, but it certainly can happen,” he said.

The doctor says specialists at National Jewish Health work together to make a personalized plan for each young patient. “It’s important to have a program where you can see the whole picture because this is affecting different parts of the body,” Rabinovitch said. 

Pediatric long COVID is relatively rate, but Rabinovitch and the McPhilomy family hope other kids will get vaccinated to help protect against this possibility. “The aftereffects of COVID are real,” McPhilomy said.