COVID changed this little girl’s life: Meet 16-month-old Malley Jane

Malley Jane
Malley Jane(WBTV)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 10:07 PM EDT
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ASHE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Meet 16-month-old Malley Jane. This Ashe County girl was born healthy and neuro-typical, despite being exposed to COVID at 5 months in utero. Like most babies exposed in utero, she went on to be born with no known issues.

But in January 2022, at the age of 9 months, that changed. Malley Jane contracted COVID, as did the rest of her family (mom, dad and two brothers). It was mom Leah McCoy’s second time.

”It was immediately after that, after our whole family had COVID, that our lives began to change,” Leah said.

According to her mother, Malley Jane started having myoclonic seizures, hypotonia (loss of muscle tone), and gross motor developmental delays. Again, she was fine until this point, but this Warrensville girl’s gross motor skills simply stalled at 9-months.

Malley Jane
Malley Jane(Family Photo)

Although she is now 16 months, she still can’t crawl, stand independently, walk, or cruise with furniture, all considered “typical” age skills. Malley Jane walks with a gait trainer, has special SMO braces for her ankles being shipped now, and physical therapy twice a week.

Here’s the hard part, says Leah: Despite test after test and MRI’s and bloodwork, NO conclusive answer is back as to what’s going on except, that COVID damaged her nervous system.

”This is especially hard for me to process as a mom because doctors tell me ‘There isn’t enough research right now to know how long these effects will last,’ Leah said. “That makes it frustrating because I can’t have a timeline on when she might get better.

What, Leah, do you want people to know? I want people to realize that while most recover well from COVID, or have long-hauler symptoms like shortness of breath and brain fog, that for some people, the COVID diagnosis changes their entire lives.

Thank you for the awareness of all the precious kids in our area who need it… even when their parents aren’t sure what they’re trying to make everyone reading, aware of. I don’t even know exactly what I want other parents to know, except that answers aren’t always clear.”

That makes total sense, Leah. Things aren’t always clear. Gray is often in the midst of black and white. Welcome to #MollysKids, Malley Jane.

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