Makenzie Gongora 9 year old San Antonio, Texas girl dies in her sleep three days after testing positive for COVID-19 as her family seek answers & await autopsy results.
‘My sister-in-law later checked on her at night and realized that she was no longer breathing and could not find a pulse,’ the girl’s aunt, Erica Gongora, told the program.
According to the family, Makenzie first complained of a stomachache and a headache on Jan. 29 at her after-school program.
After staff at the program took her temperature and found she had a fever, the girl’s mom, Kristle Gongora, took her daughter to Brooke Army Medical Center, where Makenzie tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.
Not aware of any pre-existing conditions
‘Kenzie did not have any respiratory issues,’ another aunt, Victoria Southworth, told TODAY. ‘There was nothing major going on. All the symptoms were mild.’
Doctors sent Makenzie home, telling her mom to monitor the fever, Gongora said.
‘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,’ she said.
‘There was no labored breathing or anything like that at that point,’ she added.
The family said Makenzie was small for her age, but they were not aware of any pre-existing conditions before her death.
The grieving family is now awaiting autopsy results to determine what killed the nine year old.
‘We just want to know,’ Erica Gongora said. ‘Was there something else that could have been done that could have saved her life?’
Family and doctors baffled
Makenzie’s aunts want her story to raise awareness that while children typically do not have severe illness due to COVID-19, they can get seriously sick.
‘(Makenzie’s parents) followed all of the guidelines that they were given from the doctors, and the doctors as well are baffled (as to) why Makenzie was one of the children that was taken by COVID,’ Gongora said.
A GoFundMe page set up by Southworth had raised nearly $73,000 by Tuesday morning — surpassing an initial goal of $30,000.
‘We are still absolutely floored by the outpouring of love and support,’ Southworth wrote on the page.
‘That you, from the bottom of our hearts, to those who have sent prayers, well wishes, monetary donations, meal donations, words of wisdom, and thoughts.’
The family has not yet received confirmation that Makenzie died from COVID-19. But Southworth told the San Antonio Express News that her family strongly believe it was caused by the virus.
Makenzie died in her sleep on her father’s birthday, and just three days before her mother’s birthday.