WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Fourth-grader Makenzie Gongora had mild symptoms of COVID-19 and had no pre-existing medical condition.
- The Texan 9-year-old died unexpectedly while sleeping three days after testing positive for the virus.
- In sharing Makenzie’s story, the family wants to raise awareness that COVID-19 can be potentially serious for children.
It all started with Makenzie Gongora running a fever and complaining of a bad headache. Her mom Kristle took her to a medical center to get tested for strep, flu, and COVID-19.
The strep and flu tests came out negative while the coronavirus test came out positive.
According to her aunt, Erica Gongora, “The doctors told my sister-in-law [to] 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.”
Family members monitored her closely over the weekend and she “seemed to be recuperating.” Except when she said that she was not feeling well and even started vomiting.
Mackenzie said that she was tired, had a stomach ache on Monday night and went to bed. But before midnight, she died in her sleep.
The 9-year-old exhibited mild symptoms of the coronavirus and did not have any pre-existing conditions.
Erica Gongora said, “And Makenzie’s sudden death, when COVID-19 is typically milder for young children, has left her doctors “baffled.”
The family hopes that an autopsy would give them an answer if Mackenzie died from COVID-19, exacerbated by, related to or had nothing to do with the disease.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page was set up for the medical and funeral expenses and for the mourning family.
In the page, the “soft-spoken, tender-hearted, sweet” girl left behind her mother Kristle who is a frontline medical worker, her dad Nathan who is a twice-deployed Army member, and her younger sister Sophia, who also tested positive for COVID-19.
The family is vigilantly doing all measures to make sure that they won’t lose Sophia.
Victoria Southworth, Mackenzie’s other aunt said, the family hopes that by sharing Mackenzie’s story, “We want to raise awareness because whatever it is that caused this, there just needs to be a general change in the way that people approach children and COVID.”