North Mankato teen in ICU battling COVID

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - “It has been a roller coaster of emotions,” Nissa Sugden said. “I am really strong and then something happens and I just kind of lose it.”

Nissa Sugden’s 19-year-old son, Kian Olson, tested positive for COVID last week. Today, he’s in the intensive care unit at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato being treated for coronavirus and pneumonia.

“He was very adamant about not going back in. He just wasn’t getting any better And, so I took him back in on Saturday morning-ish and within a couple of hours he was admitted into the PCU.”

Olson graduated in 2020 from Mankato West, where he played football and lacrosse.

This week should have been the start of his second year at the University of South Dakota, where he studies political science with hopes of becoming a lawyer.

“It was excruciating for him to decide to put this semester on hold. It was heartbreaking, he doesn’t want to be behind on anything,” Sugden said.

Olson is also unvaccinated and was certain he didn’t want to be vaccinated. According to Sugden, he has since decided to get the shot as soon as he can.

“When he puts his mind to something, there is absolutely no stopping him or no changing his mind or stopping him,” Sugden said.

Sugden says Olson is receiving the best help he can get at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.

“They’ve been amazing and I can’t be there,” Sugden said. “So they are all stepping in and being mom. And the care that he has been getting, I am so lucky and blessed.”

As Olson remains in intensive care, Sugden says her hope remains strong.

“If those kids or family members or friends are not being vaccinated for anything other than a medical reason, just get vaccinated,” Sugden said. “You are going to come in contact with it, so are you just going to be a little sick, are you not going to be sick, or are you going to be fighting for your life on a ventilator.”

Future updates are available by visiting Olson’s CaringBridge page.

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