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Health

Nine-year-old girl dies in her sleep after testing positive for Covid – The Independent

A nine-year-old girl in Texas has died unexpectedly in her sleep three days after testing positive for coronavirus, members of her family have said.

Makenzie’s aunt Victoria Southworth, 37, told the outlet that the girl’s mum took her to Brooke Army Medical Center to get tested for strep throat, coronavirus, and flu.

While the strep and flu tests came back negative, the Covid-19 test was positive, her maternal aunt said.

Ms Southworth told the broadcaster that Makenzie’s symptoms appeared mild, that she “did not have any respiratory issues” and there “was nothing major going on.”

“The doctors told my sister-in-law [to] take her home and to make her comfortable, to monitor her fever,” the girl’s other aunt, Erica Gongora of Austin, Texas, told the broadcaster.

She said the girl’s mum was told that “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.”

She added: “There was no labored breathing or anything like that, at that point.”

According to Ms Gongora, on 1 February Makenzie went to bed early after she complained that she was feeling very exhausted.

“My sister-in-law later checked on her at night and realised that she was no longer breathing and could not find a pulse,” she said.

The girl’s family reportedly said that they are not aware if Makenzie had any underlying conditions but noted that Makenzie was a little small for her age.

The family is said to be waiting for more information about her cause of death and her body has been sent to a lab in Dallas, Texas, to be examined. An autopsy is still pending.

“We want to get answers as to why she was taken so quickly from us,” Ms Southworth told KSAT.

Makenzie’s school district in Northside, Texas, told TODAY that they were “saddened” by the loss of the nine-year-old in a statement. 

“The Scarborough Elementary School community is saddened by the loss of fourth-grader Makenzie Gongora,” they reportedly said.

“Our thoughts are with her family during this very difficult time.”

Ms Southworth created a GoFundMe campaign following Makenzie’s death to help her family pay for a funeral and memorial which has already raised more than double its $30,000 target.

Her family members have said that Makenzie loved to cook and play dress-up, arts and crafts, and Disney movies.

Makenzie’s aunts said they aimed to raise awareness that while children typically do not have severe illness due to Covid-19, they can get seriously sick.

“[Makenzie’s parents] followed all of the guidelines that they were given from the doctors, and the doctors as well are baffled (as to) why Makenzie was one of the children that was taken by Covid,” Ms Gongora told TODAY.

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