A Kentucky county is mourning the loss of 15-year-old girl with a fighting spirit who recently died of coronavirus, KTLA sister station WFLA reports.
Alexa Rose Veit, who was born with Down Syndrome, was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2019 and, just weeks later, went into remission.
Ballard County emergency officials say Alexa was at school on Oct. 26 and wasn’t feeling well, so her mother came to get her and took her to have a routine coronavirus test due to a planned procedure in the next few days.
The following day, while awaiting the results of Alexa’s test, her mother began to feel unwell and also got tested for the coronavirus.
Both tests came back positive.
Her mother was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator, Ballard County Emergency Management Director Travis Holder said. Alexa at first showed mild symptoms and stayed at home.
During that time, the teen’s grandparents also tested positive for the virus and were hospitalized.
“As the days went on, Alexa began to feel a little worse each day and was eventually hospitalized due to COVID-19 and the development of pneumonia,” Holder added.
Alexa was flown to Nashville to be under the care of her regular doctors. Her older sister, who also had recently recovered from COVID-19, remained by her side. Alexa’s health declined, and she was soon placed on a ventilator, Holder said.
On Nov. 15, a day after her mother was released from a Kentucky hospital, Alexa died.
Her mother had rushed to the hospital to be by her daughter’s side, according to a GoFundMe account set up by the teen’s father.
“I still honestly can’t even comprehend how this happened. Just over a week ago, she was at my house arguing with me about how much schoolwork she needed to do,” William Veit wrote on the page. “I’ve really been struggling to accept the fact that the incredible human being that made me a father has been taken away from us, but I find peace in knowing that she no longer suffers.”
Veit said his daughter was filled with “love and compassion,” worried more about others than herself and had a smile that “could brighten any day.”
Alexa was a high school freshman who was a member of the choir a member her church youth group, according to Holder.
He said he shared the teen’s story because he wants people to take the virus seriously.
“I am telling you this because we have got to come to the realization that this is real,” Holder wrote on Facebook. “This isn’t political, it’s not something that ‘has always been here’ it is real. We must start taking the precautions seriously. There is not anything that we can do to get rid of COVID-19, but it is our duty as Citizens to do everything that we can to reduce the spread to our fellow man.”