LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Ballard High School junior is in the hospital  after COVID-19 complications sent her to the ICU.

Janelle Bardon, the mother of Taylor Crites, has a warning for people who aren't taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously.

"COVID-19 is real," she posted on Facebook. "It's not over. And what our family is enduring is absolutely terrifying."

She says her daughter Taylor, 17, had a mild COVID-19 infection in June and remained positive for 3-1/2 weeks. During that time, she suffered mild symptoms, including loss of taste and smell.

After she tested negative, Bardon says she returned to playing field hockey, but began experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. After consulting a cardiologist, she was diagnosed with a heart blockage created by the physical stress caused by her coronavirus recovery.

Last week, the family went on what Bardon calls a "COVID-friendly vacation." During that time, she says Taylor became very ill, with a 104-degree fever, a sore throat and a rash. 

"She was not perfusing well and her blood clotting levels were high, liver enzymes through the roof, LDH was sky high, inflammatory markers were high, her blood pressure was dropping and it appeared she was headed into septic shock," Bardon posted.

Taylor was rushed to the emergency room, where Bardon says her daughter was diagnosed with MISC, the inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19.

She was transferred to the ICU, given a broad spectrum of antibiotics and was eventually sent home, only to be called back and told to return to the hospital immediately after learning that she tested positive for cerebral meningitis. 

"A dormant virus took advantage of her immune system when it was at its weakest," her mother posted. "This girl is tough and could use all your prayers."

Taylor is expected to remain in the hospital for 12 days, as she undergoes treatment.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay for her medical expenses. To donate, CLICK HERE.

Her mom says, "The more public knowledge, the better." 

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