For Mississippi family with immunocompromised son, COVID-19 brings new threat

Updated: Mar. 17, 2020 at 8:43 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - You’ve heard government and health officials say there are some individuals who are at a higher risk during the coronavirus outbreak. The McCall family is navigating life in the midst of a crisis with a son who falls within that category.

Andrew McCall is a 14-year-old boy who loves baseball and the Mississippi State Bulldogs, but his immune system is far from normal.

“He has no reserves, as the doctor says, to get any kind of illness, any kind of virus, even to get dehydrated a little bit is bad on him," explains Andrew’s mom Robin McCall. “He goes back into the hospital.”

The hospital is where we first met Andrew and his family in 2014. He was receiving treatments for leukemia.

He’s in remission now, but the RSV, pneumonia and multiple organ failure he experienced last year continue to weaken him.

“Anything in the world can happen to him. He can get the least little ole thing and he’s on the verge of falling over the edge and dying," added Robin McCall.

Because of that, his dad, Perry, is living in a constant state of heightened awareness.

“Is this the day I’m giving it to him?" asked Perry McCall. "And that’s what you live with. You can go out that door. When I go to work, when I go out in the world, I come back... ‘Is this the day I’m bringing it home?’”

The McCalls adjusted to a version of a new normal long ago, limiting exposure and sanitizing everything. But in the midst of the coronavirus concerns, they are particularly aware.

“It’s going to be Andrew or it’s going to be an Andrew that this is going to get," noted Perry McCall. "And you don’t know if you’re carrying.”

For those of you who are frustrated you’re being asked to stay in, the McCalls say this.

“A week ago, it is absolutely defendable that you do not know that,” said Perry McCall. "If you do not know it now, it is willful ignorance or worse: willful disregard to humanity,”

“I don’t want to have to stay inside either, but I am to protect my son,” added Robin McCall.

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