MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — A heartbreaking fight with long-COVID is keeping a Mt. Juliet boy out of school this semester.
Alex Allen, 10, is in so much pain he is unable to walk. His mother said hugging even hurts him.
"You can't kiss Alex on the head. You can't hold him. Nothing," said Amanda Allen, Alex's mother.
In January, the Allen family contracted COVID-19. Alex never fully recovered. In the spring, doctors said he's likely experiencing long-COVID.
"He doesn't laugh anymore. You rarely ever see him laugh because he's in so much pain he can't laugh anymore," Amanda Allen said.
Alex goes to physical therapy two to four times a week. It's about all that can be done to help him.
"I have pains that are in my head, and when they're in my head, they jump all over the place in my head, and then they'll jump from body part to body part," Alex said.
According to physicians at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, neurologic complications are showing up in nearly 1 in 10 kids that are hospitalized with COVID-19.
"It's just hard. I don't know what to do about him. You can't take the pain away," Amanda Allen said.
According to a CDC report from earlier this summer, more than 11 percent of Tennessee adults who got COVID have experienced long-COVID symptoms. That's the third-highest percentage in the country.