10-year-old released from the hospital more than 6 months after contracting COVID-19

ATLANTA — Isaiah “Ziggy” Jackson has spent 183 days in the hospital after contracting COVID-19 last December. Now, Ziggy is back home in his own bed.

Back in March, the 10-year-old was in the ICU, fighting a battle that nearly took his life.

Ziggy’s mom Qiana Busby says having her son back at home is pure joy.

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For most of Ziggy’s life, he has battled obesity after doctors diagnosed him with a rare genetic disorder that gives him an incessant hunger called Prader Willi Syndrome.

Last December, Busby learned that Ziggy had scoliosis.

“Due to his weight, the only way they could fix his weight was to do the surgery,” Busby told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden.

The surgery was a success, but an infection just days later sent him back to the hospital for more surgeries. At some point, Ziggy contracted COVID-19.

“COVID had come in and just hit him hard,” the incoming fourth grader’s mom said.

Ziggy was placed on a ventilator for several weeks.

“I was told by respiratory a couple times they didn’t think he was going to make it,” she told Seiden. “I went into a dark place. I went into a very dark place.”

But she pushed through to help her son, and her students.


In March, the Atlanta Public Schools paraprofessional shared a video of herself teaching her students from the ICU.

The strength she has showed is persisting because life after COVID-19 has not been easy for the family.

Ziggy requires a trach tube to breathe, and doctors say there is a good chance he may never walk again.

“It’s a lot. It’s a lot, but I’ll take that any day over my child not being here,” she said. “People always say, you know, ‘You’re strong, how do you do it?’ How can I not? That’s my child. That’s a human life that I gave life to.”

Ziggy is all smiles back in his home reunited with his collectible cars.

He even has a message for the classmates and teachers he hasn’t seen in months:

“I miss you and I’ll be back at school soon,” he said.

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Ziggy is set to begin physical therapy in the next couple of weeks to learn how to walk again. His mom is acting as his full-time nurse for the time being.

The family is also trying to raise money to buy a new van that is wheelchair-accessible. If you’d like to help, click here.