The novel coronavirus has claimed the life of its youngest victim in Florida, a 9-year-old Putnam County girl identified as Kimora “Kimmie” Lynum.
Family members said the girl had no underlying health conditions when she suddenly came down with a high fever, according to the New York Post,
According to a GoFundMe page created in the young girl’s name – which described her as “jovial, fun-loving, and free-spirited” – Kimmie first began to experience stomach pain and developed a 103-degree fever. She was taken to UF Health on July 11, given Tylenol and treated for an infection, but the fundraising site said she was not tested for COVID-19.
Days later, on July 17, Kimmie was playing and “was in great spirits that day,” according to the page.
But later that same day, “she informed her mother she was feeling tired, so she was going to lie down.” A short time later, Kimmie was found unresponsive and CPR efforts made by family members were unsuccessful. A COVID-19 test was performed posthumously and showed she was positive for coronavirus, per the page.
“No one deserves this, words can’t express that she was just amazing. And she didn’t have a chance to live her life but she was always happy, she was resilient and she just was an outgoing young lady,” her cousin Dejeon Cain told local media outlet WCJB-TV.
Kimmie did not have contact with a person positive for the novel coronavirus nor was her case travel-related, according to data from the Florida Department of Health, as cited by the New York Post.
The girl’s family is now speaking out against allowing children to physically return to Florida schools, according to an interview on Florida news outlet First Coast News.
“It hit home, and I think a lot of people out here are not understanding that we have to take this thing seriously,” family spokesperson Dejeon Cain told the media outlet, fearing more children could die from COVID-19.
“We cannot send our kids to school in the midst of a pandemic and use them as a pawn. We’ve lost compassion in our state and local governments,” Cain added.
“Families need to look at that and say ‘OK, how can I minimize the risk?” Dr. Jason Littleton told local outlet FOX 35-TV in Orlando. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a set of guidelines on how to reopen schools safely.)
This is not the only tragedy to strike the family this year. According to multiple media outlets, Kimmie’s father, Theophilus Lynum, was shot and killed in April in Alachua County, Fla. Police are still investigating his death and no arrests have been made yet.
The GoFundMe page in Kimmie’s name was created to help cover funeral costs and also set up a scholarship in her name.
The girl is the fifth minor to die from COVID-19 in the state, according to the New York Post.