Catawba County mother says positive COVID-19 test led to early detection of lymphoma in son

Catawba County mother Somer Sparks is crediting a positive COVID-19 test for leading to the early detection of lymphoma in her son, Aidan Cox.
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2021 at 10:42 AM EDT
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CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Catawba County mother Somer Sparks is crediting a positive COVID-19 test for leading to the early detection of lymphoma in her son, Aidan Cox.

Cox, a 15-year-old freshman at Bunker Hill High School in Catawba County, lives an active lifestyle. He plays three different sports throughout the year; football, baseball, and basketball.

“I’m really big into sports. I’ve played my whole life, played three sports; baseball, basketball, and football,” Cox told WBTV in a Zoom call Tuesday evening.

Unfortunately, Cox’s athletic career may have to be placed medical hiatus. Sparks said her son was feeling sick in late September and tested positive for COVID-19 on September 28.

“He was just feeling yucky, sore throat, just kind of minimal COVID symptoms, found out he did have COVID. He stayed at home, did his quarantine,” explained Sparks.

Cox hasn’t fully recovered since that positive COVID test. Sparks said she took her son to an emergency room in Catawba County on October 8 because of swelling in part of the teen’s chest. She said doctors told them that Cox had pneumonia.

A couple weeks later, on October 25, X-ray and CT scans revealed that masses had formed in Cox’s body. Sparks said her son was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.

“It was tough. I’m not going to lie. I mean you never want to ever hear a child have cancer, but to hear your own child has cancer, that was pretty tough,” explained Sparks.

Aidan had a port placed in his chest last Friday so that he can begin cancer treatment. He then returned home on Monday, November 1.

“I think it happened so fast that I don’t know that either one of us or anybody in our family had time to process the situation,” said Sparks.

The Catawba County mother maintains that her son testing positive for COVID-19 is the reason doctors were able to catch the lymphoma early.

“COVID saved his life. I 100 percent believe that. We all hate COVID, but there would have not been any indication like his labs, the white blood cell counts were great. All the indications that would come from bloodwork to say that he did have lymphoma, there was nothing there, so we really thought what we were dealing with was just side effects from COVID,” said Sparks.

She said her son and family have already received a ton of support from people in their community. Cox said he is grateful for that support.

“It makes me feel like I have a community behind me and I have people caring for me,” said the Catawba County teen.

Sparks said her son will need to make two trips to Levine Children’s Hospital every week for treatment. She said this process will continue for six to eight months.

“I do believe Aidan is a strong kid and he’s gonna come out of this stronger and he’s gonna use what he’s been through for good,” said Sparks.

A Facebook page in support of Cox has been created. The page is titled Aidan’s Army.

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