High school QB, homecoming king contracts COVID-19 twice, doctors find hole in heart


MERCED, Cal. (CNN/KFSN) — A 19-year-old California teen thought he was healthy until a second diagnosis of COVID-19 revealed a hole in his heart.

The last two months have been some of the most excruciating for Desiree Cady, whose son William “Ikaika” Bailey has been going through the fight of his life.

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, just watching her child suffer through that and not really being able to do anything,” Cady said.

It’s a diagnosis that almost ended in heart failure.

“There was a point that I actually thought that I was going to lose him.”

Cady said her son seemed like a healthy young adult. He graduated from high school last year where he was the backup quarterback and homecoming king.

It was mid-June when Ikaika first started feeling sick. At first Cady thought it was just allergies, then came the high fever followed by a hospital visit and a positive COVID test.

“He would shiver and it was warm and then he would get hot when it was cold and then the fever and the cough,” Cady said. “It was horrible.”

After 14 days, he was cleared. But weeks passed and Cady said her son wasn’t his normal self.

A doctor visit revealed he had lost 20 pounds. Hours later his feet started swelling. That’s when his mother rushed him to the hospital.

“They explained to me that this was a sign of heart failure,” she said.

Ikaika tested positive for coronavirus again. Even more alarming, doctors discovered a hole in his heart and two heart valves on the verge of failure. According to doctors, the hole was already there and COVID made it worse.

They performed surgery immediately.

“One they were able to repair, the second they had to replace with a mechanical valve,” Cady said.

Ikaika must now take blood thinners for the rest of his life. He still has a long road to recovery, but Cady says her son is a testament to his name.

Ikaika means “strong” in Hawaiian.


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