BALTIMORE — A 15-year-old Baltimore County girl has died and her mother suspects COVID-19 is to blame. This could make her the first child to die from the virus in the state of Maryland.
Kandace Knight, Dar’yana Dyson's mother, said her daughter suddenly passed away nearly a week after she was taken to the hospital.
She said the first sign Dar’yana, who's from Baltimore County, was sick was when she started to complain about a stomach ache on Monday.
Knight said she took her to the hospital the same day where her condition quickly got worse. She said Dar’yana developed a rash and started having trouble breathing.
On Saturday, she said doctors put her on a ventilator and a bypass machine because her heart was failing.
Dar’yana died just hours later, Knight said.
“I’m just so lost for words,” she said. “She’s 15. She was a healthy child. Nothing was wrong with her. Nothing. And for her to just die so sudden , it’s so tragic.”
Knight said Dar’yana tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. She also said doctors told her Dar’yana suffered from a Kawasaki-like disease, which is an illness that’s been linked to the virus.
“I can’t even tell you how my child caught this,” she said. “I’m so loss for words. Nobody else had it. Nobody in my family had it. I don’t understand.”
Knight said she still can’t believe her daughter, who she described as “unique” and the “life of the party”, is gone.
“When she come in the room, she just brightened up the room,” she said. “She had the biggest smile. She was always smiling. She put other people before herself.”
Knight said Dar’yana would have turned 16 next month.
“This year she was supposed to get a car. And I would be able to take her driving. I’ll never be able to take her to her prom. There’s just so many things I’m going to miss out on because of this nasty virus,” Knight said.
She said she hopes Dar’yana's story can save lives by showing people the virus is not a joke and should be taken seriously.
“Stay in the house. It’s not safe. It’s not safe,” she said. “They keep saying it’s okay to go outside. It’s not. We don’t need to go outside.”
The Maryland Department of Health’s data dashboard shows that no one under the age of 20 has died from COVID-19. Dar’yana Dyson’s autopsy is underway but the results won’t be available for possibly several weeks.
A candlelight vigil will be held in her honor on Wednesday.