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Young boy with Autism is unresponsive, hospitalized with mystery illness during Disney World trip

The Baker family had been planning their trip to Disney World during the 50th anniversary celebration for a while. They also had planned to visit Gatorland. Surely they had anticipated seeing Mickey, celebrating the 50th, eating their favorite Disney treats, and enjoying their favorite Disney World attractions.

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Nothing could have prepared them for the reality they were about to face, and no one could have imagined they’d still be in Florida a month after their trip.

The Ohio family had just begun their trip in the parks when something happened: the Bakers’ 12-year-old son, Kameron, got sick. He developed a cough and began to cry in pain from a sore throat. That’s when his mom, Vanessa, took him to the ER at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.

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“The second day that we had planned, he actually didn’t make it because that’s the day he got hospitalized,” Vanessa Baker said.

Kameron has now been on a ventilator for more than 3 weeks, and one of his lungs has also collapsed. And the scariest part of the whole scenario is that doctors have no idea why.

Twelve-year-old Kameron has Autism, asthma, and developmental delays. Per his mother, in the hospital, he has tested positive for flu and negative for COVID, but his labwork did show COVID antibodies in his system, meaning that at some point, he has had a COVID infection, even if it was an asymptomatic case.

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According to Kameron’s mother, Vanessa, doctors now wonder if that possible asymptomatic case could have Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which is sometimes a residual effect of COVID. But they just aren’t sure.

“They can’t diagnose him with that specifically because he doesn’t have all of the symptoms,” Vanessa said.

For now, doctors are treating him for a syndrome referred to as “ARDS,” which stands for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Kameron is unresponsive at this time, but Vanessa is hopeful that they’ll be home by Thanksgiving, as doctors are beginning the process of weaning him off sedation.

“Some days are harder than others,” Vanessa explained.

She and her husband have had to stop working so they can be with Kameron at his bedside in Orlando, while their other children are back home in Ohio. The family’s friends have set up a GoFund Me page to help them with expenses while they aren’t working.

We wish them the best as they try to navigate Kameron’s condition and hope he’s better very soon!

(All photos courtesy Baker family)

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!