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North Royalton family shares journey with 2-week-old diagnosed with coronavirus

A local couple describes the challenges of isolating themselves in one house, while dealing with a baby, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio — It’s difficult enough adjusting to life with a newborn baby at home. However, for one local couple that adjustment is much more challenging now that their 2-week-old has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I felt completely shattered, because at this point it was my worst fear,” says Dawn Clancy, the mother of 2-week-old Eli, who has tested positive for Covid-19.

This is supposed to be one of the happiest times in Clancy house because just a few weeks ago,“March 23 at right around 5 a.m. in the morning,” recalls Sean Clancy, they welcomed baby Eli into the world.

“It was a hectic, very, very long day,” says Sean. 

“We had a beautiful delivery. The hospital stay was great, we were just more afraid of his exposure at this point," recalls Dawn. " So, we made sure that we kept our family away, our friends away, everything." 

Despite all their precautions and care, just days after returning home with their newborn son, Sean began to feel a cold coming on that turned out to be something worse.

“I thought it was just lack of sleep, tired and worn down. I thought it was a sinus infection. I got swabbed Sunday, then positive results on Monday. I couldn’t believe it,” says Sean.

“When we found out that my husband had it, I felt like, okay here we are with this newborn. He’s already been exposed. Now it’s just up to me to keep him and also my daughter, who wasn’t showing any symptoms, safe,” says an emotional Dawn.

They’re not sure if Eli was exposed the same time Sean was or if he was exposed later, but despite Sean quarantining himself in the basement, Eli started showing symptoms and tested positive a week later.

Sean says, “My world got rocked. Here I am, sick myself, banished to the basement. I’m sad, emotionally that he’s got it.”

So now baby Eli spends most of his time isolated in the basement with his dad. Meanwhile, everything his mother, Dawn, does whether it’s changes, feedings or even seeing her newborn son, she does so with a gown, gloves and mask.

Dawn says, “It’s an unreal feeling. I look down at him and he sees me and I know he hears me. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, he’s looking at me and I have this mask on.’ It’s been really tough.”

They’re hoping to reunite as a family soon and that their story will help those struggling realize…it’s a tough time for everyone, but happier days are on the horizon.

“This is one of the worst possible things I’m sure you can go through,” says Sean.

Dawn says, “ I can’t wait for it to just go back to normal.”

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