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Faces of COVID | A tiny baby and a terrifying diagnosis

At just 10 days old, Dawn and Sean Clancy's newborn son, Eli tested positive for COVID-19.

CLEVELAND — The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the nation as Ohio continues to break records for new daily cases. Since the beginning, health experts maintain that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk for complications due to the coronavirus. 

However, the number of children infected continues to rise throughout the country and in Ohio. That includes one of the tiniest victims, a 10-day old baby from Cuyahoga County.

The Clancy family says they were so excited to learn they were bringing a baby into the world. On March 23, their beautiful baby boy came into this world at eight pounds, nine ounces. He was the perfect little bundle of joy and his proud parents named him Eli. Dawn and Sean Clancy brought Eli home and like all parents, the exhaustion quickly set in. 

However, for Sean it felt different when his tiredness turned to aches and pains. In a COVID-19 world, he decided to get a coronavirus test.

“I was fully expecting negative test results across the board,” said Sean.

However, to his surprise he received a positive coronavirus test result. Sean quickly isolated in the basement with his newborn baby and family top of mind.

“It wasn’t until about five days later, Eli was acting off he was unresponsive. He was breathing but just not fully how he normally was at this point – alert,” said Dawn. “We called 911. I was beyond devastated, I was an emotional wreck.”

After a few days in the hospital and several tests, the Clancy family received devastating news – their 10 day old baby tested positive for coronavirus.

“I didn’t know how to feel to be honest. I was in fight or flight mode,” said Dawn. “I literally felt like my entire world was shattered because he’s this little baby – it was very emotional.”

Dawn says she tries to block the days from her mind – a harsh reality that her son was one of the smallest victims of a large and wide-spread virus.

“It was a very difficult time,” said Dawn. “I couldn’t have gotten through it without my mother’s support.”

However, in the days following, the physical and mental aches and pains started passing and baby Eli and Sean started to turn a corner. For the first time in what felt like forever, the Clancy family saw light at the of the long tunnel.

Fast forward to today and Eli is a happy, energetic and perfectly healthy 8 month-old boy.

“He’s perfect,” said Dawn. “It’s a cautionary tale now and also thankfully it’s going to be a story that he gets to tell when he gets older of how his life started.”

“We passed along our knowledge at the time through our experience which we never gained but we wanted to be a source of help for other people who might be going through this tragic time,” said Sean.

The Clancy family is passing on a message of help and hope at a time when so many need it.

Credit: Provided

Baby Eli’s first few days of life were far from easy, but the Clancy family knows they are some of the lucky ones and Eli's chatter smile, laugh, baby chatter reminds them every day.

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