Zane Wampler stands in front of a banner that’s filled with birthday messages from friends and Keys community members. Zane turned 9 on Aug. 2. Contributed

After a little over two weeks in the hospital, the young Upper Keys boy diagnosed with MIS-C, a rare syndrome connected to COVID-19, is home.

On Aug. 2, Zane Wampler turned 9 years old. Two days later, he was released from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and traveled with his mom, Leah, and dad, Zack, back to their residence in Tavernier. 

“We still have a lot of followups and visits with specialists, but now that he is able to take his medication by mouth, we were able to taper them down at home,” Leah wrote on her Facebook page on Aug. 4. “As scary as it is for me to bring him home, we are over the moon excited to have our family all back together.”  

Wampler said her son never expressed symptoms associated with COVID-19, and three swab tests came back negative. It was a positive antibodies test for COVID-19 that led doctors to believe young Zane has a syndrome found in children that’s linked to the illness. 

Positive results from an antibody test show that the child’s immune system developed blood proteins (antibodies) that fought the COVID-19 virus. The Mayo Clinic says this blood test is the only indication that the child was ever infected — meaning the child may have fought the infection without ever having shown signs or symptoms of COVID-19. 

Still, some children with MIS-C are currently infected with the coronavirus, usually confirmed by detection of the virus on a swab taken from the nose or throat. Children with MIS-C need to be treated in a hospital and some in a pediatric intensive care unit. 

Zane ultimately was taken, via ambulance by the request of his local doctors, to the children’s hospital in Miami. Between 20 and 30 doctors saw Zane as they all worked together to combat the syndrome.

Wampler says the prayers, love and support from her family, the tight-knit Keys community, old and new friends from all over the world have been felt and heard. 

“We are so happy he’s home,” Wampler told the Weekly on Aug. 5

Ironically, Wampler says Zane was brought home from the hospital nine years ago on Aug. 4, 2011.

Victor Figueroa Jr. is pictured writing a happy birthday message on Zane’s banner. Contributed
Zane sits up on his bed inside Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. Contributed
In a wagon, Zane gets wheeled out of the hospital on Aug. 2. Ironically, his mom, Leah, says he was carried out nine years ago on Aug. 4, 2011. Contributed

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