The coronavirus crisis is far from over. And last week we got our most tragic reminder yet.
According to reports, a 9-year-old Texas girl died in her sleep three days after testing positive for COVID-19 and only showing mild symptoms.
Makenzie Gongora (pictured above) came home from after-school care feeling sick on Friday January 29, her aunt Victoria Southworth told KSAT. Southworth shared:
“Kenzie was complaining about a really bad headache and then they took her temperature and she had a fever.”
The fourth-grader was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center, where doctors tested her for flu, strep, and COVID-19. She only tested positive for COVID-19, but doctors weren’t too alarmed, as Makenzie only showed symptoms like headache, nausea and tiredness, and suffered no respiratory issues at all.
Another aunt, Erica Gongora, told Today:
“The doctors told my sister-in-law take her home and to make her comfortable, to monitor her fever, and if it got over a certain point, or if there were any other major issues that occurred, to go ahead and bring her back to the hospital… There was no labored breathing or anything like that, at that point.”
Naturally, the family watched her constantly throughout the weekend. While her symptoms fluctuated, they never became more serious.
On Monday, February 1, the young girl told her parents — her father Nathan is an Army National Guardsman; her mother Kristle is a frontline medical worker — she felt really tired and went to bed early. Tragically, she never woke up.
“My sister-in-law later checked on her at night and realized that she was no longer breathing and could not find a pulse.”
To make matters more devastating, Makenzie had no underlying health issues that the family knew of. In fact, she was in perfect health aside from being a bit small for her age.
The day Makenzie died, both her dad and 8-year-old sister also tested positive for COVID-19. The family are currently waiting on an autopsy now to see how big a role the coronavirus played in the young child’s death. Southworth noted:
“Hopefully that’s going to give us the answer as to whether or not this was completely COVID related, or exacerbated by COVID or nothing to do with COVID.”
Either way, it’s an unspeakably tragic turn of events for this family.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family in the wake of Makenzie’s passing, and has already more than doubled its target of $30,000. The description reads:
“Makenzie was 9-years-old and in the 4th grade. Soft spoken, tender-hearted, sweet, and loving to everyone she ever met…We suspect this is COVID related as we can’t figure out what else could have caused this, but will not know until we receive the report from the medical examiner.”
Our hearts go out to the family at this difficult time. R.I.P.
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