A 4-year-old Texas girl has died of COVID-19 — just hours after she likely got it from her mom, a staunch anti-vaxxer, the grieving parent said.
Little Kali Cook died in her sleep at home in Bacliff last Tuesday, just five hours after she woke in the early hours with the first signs of a fever, mom Karra Harwood told local media.
“Kali was perfectly fine, and then she was gone,” the grieving mom told the Houston Chronicle. “It took her so fast.”
Harwood said she had tested positive the previous day, with her and her fiancé, William Tucker, already out of work because they were sick and quarantining at home.
“I tried to stay away from her and didn’t want her and my other kids to get it,” she told the Galveston County Daily News of Kali and her brother and 5-month-old sister, both of whom also got infected.
The mom admitted that she now regretted opposing COVID vaccines, one of many in Texas where the vaccination rate is just a fraction over 50 percent, Johns Hopkins University data shows.
“I was one of the people that was anti, I was against it,” she told her local paper of the shots.
“Now, I wish I never was,” she admitted.
Kali is the first child to have died of COVID-19 in Galveston County during the pandemic, which has seen nearly 50,000 confirmed cases and more than 470 other deaths there, according to the local health authority.
“This is a terrible thing, but I think people need to know about it,” local health official Philip Keiser told the Galveston County Daily News of the youngster’s death.
Kali Cook is the first child to have died of COVID-19 in Galveston County, Texas, during the pandemic.
“It’s very important, if your kids are sick, not to say, ‘Oh, they’re going to be OK,’” Keiser said. “If your kids are sick, go seek out medical care.”
Kali had just started pre-kindergarten classes, but there is no suggestion she got infected there, officials said. Contact tracing has not shown her being close to anyone who was infected other than her family, the reports said.
The county reflects the Lone Star State average with around 50 percent so far vaccinated, although a recent spike from the Delta variant has seen an uptick in those getting the shots, the local paper said.
Harwood, meanwhile, launched an online fundraiser to help while she and her fiancé are still out of work while infected — quickly surpassing their goal of $20,000.
“Her heart was too pure for this cruel world and God decided he needed another beautiful angel on his side,” they wrote.
“We are all so broken and lost and just trying to figure out how we are gonna get [through this life] without her light,” they wrote, saying they are “overly stressed and hurting.”
Harwood told the Galveston County Daily News that her daughter had been “so funny and sassy.”
“She wasn’t your average little girl. She’d rather play with worms and frogs than wear bows.
“She was just so pretty and full of life,” she said.