RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – One Maryland mom is warning other parents to look out for symptoms of a rare complication of COVID-19 after her four-year-old son spent eight days in a Richmond hospital battling the condition.

Daryl “DJ” Brunson’s parents Yolanda and Daryl Brunson are thanking the doctors at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical’s Children’s Hospital of Richmond for saving DJ’s life, describing to 8News the scary moments his fever spiked multiple times before finally getting a diagnosis of the rare COVID-19 complication, multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.

MIS-C occurs when body parts become inflamed including the heart, lungs and kidneys.

“It was definitely traumatic,” Yolanda Brunson told 8News in an interview Friday. “When he went to sleep, I cried.”

While on vacation in Williamsburg last September, DJ kept getting high fevers, despite treatment with Tylenol after he was diagnosed with a viral bug at an urgent care office back home in Maryland.

“Normally, once you give a child Tylenol, normally, that subsides everything. So I said something has to be wrong,” Yolanda Brunson explained.

She said DJ woke up one night at their Williamsburg resort to scary symptoms, like red eyes and stomach pain.

“I could feel his body heat, so I took another temperature, and it was just way up. So I woke my husband up and said we have to go,” Yolanda Brunson said.

The family packed up and Yolanda Brunson took her hypothesized diagnosis to the nurses and doctors at VCU Medical’s Children’s Hospital in Richmond.

“I said I think it may be multi-inflammatory syndrome in children who’ve been exposed to COVID,” Yolanda Brunson said she told the medical staff.

She said MIS-C mirrors Kawasaki disease, so doctors were going back and forth between both diagnoses and testing for both.

The MIS-C complication usually appears a few weeks after having COVID-19, and DJ did have COVID just six to eight weeks before the new symptoms started to appear.

Yolanda Brunson was right, her son was diagnosed with MIS-C. VCU pediatrician Dr. Jose Muñoz said they began treatment with intravenous immune globulin and steroids.

“Many children do need to be transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit,” Dr. Muñoz explained.

Luckily, DJ’s MIS-C diagnosis was early, something Dr. Muñoz said is key to keeping children out of the intensive care unit with the condition.

DJ continues to focus on the positives that came out of the hospital stay. “I think the toys that they gave me,” he smiled, talking about the toys the nurses gave him while he recovered.

Dr. Muñoz said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported over 6,000 cases of MIS-C, but said in the Richmond area cases of the rare condition have not been as bad as it has been in cities like New York and Washington, D.C.