Skylar Herbert, the five-year-old daughter of a firefighter and police officer in Michigan, has become the first child with COVID-19 to die in the state.
According to The Detroit News, Herbert’s initial symptoms did not show signs of the coronavirus, but after a positive diagnosis, the five-year-old developed rare complications that ultimately left her brain dead.
Last month, Skylar complained about a headache that wouldn’t go away.
“She had been crying all night and saying the headache would not go away,” Herbert’s mother, Lavondria said. On March 23, Skylar was taken to the pediatrician, where she then tested positive for strep throat before she was sent home to rest. But, when the antibiotics didn’t alleviate the pain, Skylar’s parents rushed her to the emergency room.
Skylar was then tested for COVID-19, and upon positive results, doctors determined that the five-year-old’s constant headache and fever were side effects of the virus. The following day, the child was released, but the family returned six hours later.
“We went back to the emergency at the Beaumont Hostpial’s Farmington campus because I noticed my husband was coughing and having shortness of breath,” LaVondria said. “Me and Skylar waited in the car, but out of nowhere, Skylar began complaining about her head hurting again, and then she just threw up.”
Skylar’s fever then skyrocketed, as she began to shiver, and as her father emerged from the emergency room, Skylar had a seizure. The five-year-old was later admitted to the pediatric ICU for tests, which is when the family found out about their daughter’s meningitis.
According to the publication, Skylar’s meningoencephalitis is a rare complication of the deadly virus, which, in her case, caused swelling of brain tissue and a lesion on her frontal lobe.
Skylar spent two weeks on a ventilator, but on Sunday, her parents decided to pull the plug.” We decided to take her off the ventilator today because her improvement had stopped, the doctor told us that it was possible she was brain dead, and we basically just knew she wasn’t coming back to us,” LaVondria said.
“The loss of a child, at any time, under any circumstances, is a tragedy,” a spokesperson for Beaumont Health said in a statement, confirming Skylar’s health. “We are heartbroken that COVID-19 has taken the life of a child. We extend our deepest sympathy to Skylar’s family and all others who have lost a loved one to this virus.”