A 4-year-old girl in Bacliff passed away in her sleep four hours after developing a fever. She died of COVID-19. This comes as virus cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant rise among children across the United States.
Kali Cook had a fever at 2 a.m. on Tuesday and by 7 a.m. of the same day, she did not wake up and succumbed to the COVID-19 virus, her mother Kara Harwood told the Chronicle. “It took her so fast,” Harwood said.
“She was so funny and sassy,” Kali’s mother told the Daily News. “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.”
The 4-year-old was a preschooler at Bacliff’s Kenneth E. Little Elementary school. She is the first child – younger than 10 years old – to die from COVID19 in Galveston County. Her sudden death was confirmed by health officials on Thursday afternoon.
Kali’s death is proof that the latest surge of deaths and cases caused by the Delta variant is affecting young children at a very alarming rate especially that they are returning to school.
At least 321 children who contracted COVID29 are in the hospital as of Wednesday, two of whom are from the Galveston Area.
Kali did not make it to the hospital. She died within five hours after having a fever. She tested positive for the virus the day after her mother tested positive. Her brother and 5-month-old sister contracted the virus, too.
The family is currently in quarantine in their home in Bacliff where Kali died.
Harwood shared that they can’t escape Kali’s memory and her curly hair. According to her mom, she idolized her siblings and hated having her hair combed and fixed. “I always tried to put bows in her hair, but Kali wanted to be outside catching frogs,” she said.
Kali just started preschool last August, where she cried at first after realizing that she has to leave her mom but quickly got over and liked going to school, saying, “I can’t wait to go to school.”
As of now, it is still not clear as to where the family first got the virus. The Galveston County health officials said in a statement that they believe Kali did not get infected in her classroom since “face coverings are strongly recommended,” according to school policy.
“We don’t know where it came from,” Harwood said.
Hardwood is currently out of work. She started a fundraiser to help pay Kali’s funeral and the family’s medical bills. On Thursday, a total of nearly $6, 000 were raised through donations of friends and strangers.
Hardwood is worried about her 5-month-old and fears that she might be the next. She is also terrified of what happened to Kali. “Kali was perfectly fine, and then she was gone,” Harwood said.