With more than 2 million people around the world confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, it can be hard to feel like there's ever any good news these days. But, thankfully, not every headline is doom and gloom. Case in point, a 6-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis beat coronavirus. In a video shared to Facebook by his mom, Joseph Bostain celebrates the fact that, after being sick for weeks, he'd recovered from COVID-19.
"Thank you for all the cards and the prayers and the gifts," a grinning Bostain said in a video shared on Facebook on April 1. "I'm a cystic fibrosis warrior, and I beat COVID-19." Bostain then holds up one arm before flexing it in triumph.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, there are more than 30,000 people living with cystic fibrosis, a progressive genetic disease that can can cause persistent lung infections and limit a person's ability to breathe over time, in the United States alone. Because cystic fibrosis can cause a thick and sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, germs and respiratory illnesses can pose serious problems for people with cystic fibrosis.
Bostain's mother, Sabrina, shared news of her son's COVID-19 diagnosis in a March 19 Facebook post, asking friends to pray, wash their hands, and stay home.
"I got the confirmed call from Vanderbilt today that Joseph is positive for COVID19," Sabrina wrote. "He has had fever and cough and is tired! He is immune compromised from his Cystic Fibrosis! Just say some prayers!" According to Sabrina, the family was put on a two-week quarantine by Tennessee's Health Department.
"Stay well and wash and sanitize and please, if u[you] are sick, stay home and away from elderly and those who [you] know are immune compromised!" she wrote.
As Bostain continued to battle COVID-19, his mother kept her followers updated on his condition. According to WCCO, Sabrina reported the boy's fever had disappeared completely by March 28.
On April 8, Bostain reported that he was "feeling a lot better" in a video Sabrina shared. "I'm not coughing. I don't have a fever and I can breathe good," Bostain said. "Today is a good day."
Early research has shown that children may not experience as severe of an illness as adults do when infected with the novel coronavirus. A study of pediatric coronavirus patients in China found that although children can catch coronavirus, the majority of children experienced only mild illness with the virus. Additionally, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that, in the United States, less than 2% of coronavirus patients were children.
On April 13, two weeks after Bostain's symptoms had abated, Sabrina took to Facebook for one final update. "Today I am glad to say that there are no more updates to give," she wrote. "Today I would like to close this chapter of 2020 by thanking everyone for supporting Joseph and our family with prayers and cards and letters and parades, Amazon deliveries, video chats, messages and calls from all over the world, home cooked goods and even a special book by a beautiful author!" Sabrina went on to say she had never experiences such an "[outpouring] of love" from so many different people.
"Thank you all from the bottom my heart for sharing your kindness and support," she wrote. "We are happy that Joseph is well and just wanted to say thank you!"