Kentucky family counting blessings after baby survives coronavirus

Published: May. 3, 2020 at 9:20 PM EDT
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A Mt. Vernon family is counting its blessings after getting a scare on Easter Sunday.

“It kind of felt like getting hit with a truck, honestly,” Amanda Hansel said.

Hansel’s 14-month-old daughter Leia developed a fever on Holy Saturday. By Sunday, she was struggling to breathe, and her fever had hit 101 degrees. Hansel and her husband rushed their daughter to the emergency room, where she spent hours undergoing tests.

Twenty-four hours later, she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

“I can’t lie and say that I didn’t go to the shower and cry my eyes out for a while," Charles Hansel said.

“Our shower’s on the other end of the house from the bedroom, and I could hear him sobbing,” Amanda Hansel said. “Honestly the scariest thing is having to come to grips with the possibility that you might lose your child.”

The Hansels also were unsure of where their daughter contracted the virus. She had not left their home nor interacted with anyone other than her parents.

“How did that happen?" Charles Hansel asked himself. "You’ve tried everything. Then you start to feel like, ‘Was it my fault? Did I do something? Did I do something wrong?'”

For days after the diagnosis, Amanda stayed up through the night, holding Leia and monitoring her breathing while she slept.

About 10 days later, Leia turned the corner.

“It was night and day," Charles Hansel said. "She just went from being, ‘I don’t want to do nothing. I just want to lay here and try to sleep’ to, ‘OK, now we’re ready to go.’”

With the coronavirus past them, the Hansels wanted one more way to mark their daughter’s recovery. They threw Leia her first-ever Easter egg hunt, capturing the event on video and sending it to family and friends.

“It just kind of turned into a little celebration for us," Amanda Hansel said. "We needed that. We all needed that.”

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