Michigan girl, 5, daughter of first responders, dies from coronavirus: report

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A 5-year-old Michigan girl, the daughter of two first responders, has become the first child to die from COVID-19 in the state on Sunday.

Skylar Herbert tested positive for the coronavirus back in March and later developed meningoencephalitis, a rare complication of the coronavirus, her parents said. She spent two weeks on a ventilator before being taken off on Sunday.

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“We decided to take her off the ventilator today because her improvement had stopped, the doctors told us that it was possible she was brain dead, and we basically just knew she wasn’t coming back to us,” said LaVondria Herbert, Skylar’s mother, on Sunday, according to The Detroit News.

She was originally released from Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, a day after testing positive, as her symptoms — which included a fever — were believed to be mild.

The family went back to the hospital after her father, Ebbie Herbert, 46, developed a cough and shortness of breath, the paper reported.

As Skylar and her mother waited in the car, the 5-year-old had a seizure.

“[I told her] Skylar, look at your daddy, Skylar, look at your daddy,” said her father. “She came out of the seizure and me and her mother ran back into the emergency room.”

Skylar was then admitted to the pediatric ICU at the hospital — located in a northern suburb of Detroit, Mich., — where she was given a lumbar puncture and the family learned of her meningitis condition.

The Beaumont Health System, which has seen 6,678 COVID-19 patients as of Sunday, confirmed her death in a statement.

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Skylar’s family said they have no idea how she contracted the virus, adding that she had been in the house for weeks and had no previous health issues, the paper added.

A healthcare worker screens people for COVID-19, the disease that is caused by the new coronavirus, at a drive-through station set up in the parking lot of the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. on March 16. Skylar Herbert, the first child to die from the coronavirus in the state on Sunday had been admitted to the hospital. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Her father, Ebbie, has been a Detroit firefighter for 18 years, while her mother LaVondria has worked as a police officer in the city for 25 years.

“She was the type of girl that would just run up to you and jump in your arms and hug you,” LaVondria said, according to The Detroit News.

The family added that they support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order she issued back in March — which has since prompted protests in the state.

“I want to say thank you to the governor for making people go home,” LaVondria said, according to the paper.

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Michigan has seen more than 31,424 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 2,391 deaths as of early Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.