A ‘healthy' five-year-old girl is fighting for her life from Kawasaki disease weeks after recovering from coronavirus, her distraught parents have said.
Scarlett suffered from a mild bout of Covid-19 five weeks ago which she recovered from, but is now in intensive care with a Kawasaki inflammatory response.
Her dad Piers Roberts said Scarlett was given just a 20% chance of survival from the disease, which inflames blood vessels and is believed to be a reaction to coronavirus.
He said Scarlett contracted Covid-19 in school before the lockdown, and described his daughter as «fit and well» six weeks before she suddenly suffered multi-organ failure.
Mr Roberts, a teacher, said he is «appalled» at plans to reopen schools in England on June 1, warning more cases of Kawasaki disease could happen if schools open.
And he added: «I want to get back to face to face teaching. However, I don’t want my daughter as an experiment. The torture is real.»
In a series of tweets, great auntie of Scarlett, June, described her battle against the disease.
She said: «This is my five-year-old great niece. She was fit & healthy until a mild bout of Covid-19 five weeks ago from which she appeared to recover.
«She is now in ICU with a Kawasaki inflammatory response. She is off the ventilator but has developed heart problems.
«Her parents, a doctor (mum) and teacher (dad, my nephew), want her story sharing as they not only now have this dreadfully intimate personal experience but are both at the frontline of this crisis & see firsthand how schools will be the next frontline.
«My nephew & his wife want the UK to know they are appalled at proposals to bring back to school full year groups on 1st June. They expect, as do the teaching & medical unions, more cases like that of their daughter if the govt persists in this plan.
«My nephew wants to get back to full time face-to-face teaching as soon as possible. But using his daughter & those like her as guinea pigs is an unconscionable risk & one we cannot take while so little is known about the illness that felled her.
«They are also inexpressibly grateful to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Leeds General Infirmary for the amazing care the staff have given to their daughter.»
In an update posted earlier on Sunday, June added: «Further update on Scarlett. She's had to go to theatre to have a second line put in. Her heart is doing scary things. Her mum says it's a routine procedure and should make the next few days easier for her.»
Mr Roberts said his family has been left «broken» by his daughter's battle for her life, and in an open letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, which was posted on Facebook, he said schools may be labelled as «death camps».
The post reads: «Dear The Right Honourable Gavin Williamson.
«As expected I know you have not cast an eye on my letters, emails etc. and they likely have not even made it past a secretary; I also am aware you have no intention of considering the individual in any way, shape or form.
«So, in due course you will see the consequences of these decisions. Schools may well be labelled as death camps in time and instead of PPE you could consider providing teachers with some form of commandant uniform as your exit strategy is to blame whatever public group you can – I suppose that way we would at least appear to ‘know our duty'.
«Please continue to scapegoat us. Please continue to keep your party line amidst intentional ignoring of emerging science.
«If your boss is going to label a global pandemic as a “war”’and you want to effectively put our young people in perilous danger (now very much evidence based) whilst vilifying our profession, then that is a war crime right there and a human rights catastrophe.
«Thank you for your ongoing support for the profession and for taking heed and reacting to the evidence as we learn -not. I suppose getting back to “learning” is somewhere within the cocktail of poorly articulated lies YOU as Education Secretary speak of. Maybe “learning” some crisis management would be a great new policy? But that is up to YOU as my Education Secretary.
«Don’t expect attendance to be anything above R.I. in September, because I shudder to think of how many young people will not be able to attend through…death. I do not have a code to put on my register for that as a reason for absence; perhaps you could look into that also in between your ignorance and crookedness.
«Kindest Regards and sleep well.»
Earlier on Sunday top Tory Michael Gove claimed he could «guarantee» teachers will be safe – but then immediately admitted they might catch coronavirus.
Asked if he could «guarantee» teachers will be safe when classrooms reopen, Mr Gove told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: «Yes.
«I talked to the chief scientific advisor yesterday for the government, Patrick Vallance, and running through the figures – the R number, the rate of infection in the community overall – we’re confident that children and teachers will be safe.”
Yet grilled over his claim, Mr Gove then admitted he could not guarantee all teachers would be safe.
He said «you can never eliminate risk» and added: «There is always, always, always, in any loosening of these restrictions, a risk of people catching the coronavirus.»