Texas 9-Year-Old Girl Dies in Her Sleep Three Days after Testing Positive for COVID-19
Makenzie Gongora, a nine-year-old girl from Texas, passed away three days after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Now her family aims to raise awareness about the virus.
According to a GoFundMe page, Makenzie Gongora, of San Antonio, Texas, was in the 4th grade. She was described as "soft-spoken, tender-hearted, sweet, and loving to everyone she ever met."
On January 29, Makenzie tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing a severe headache with vomiting. Over the weekend, she experienced a wave of symptoms that came and went.
Victoria Southworth, her aunt, said Makenzie complained on February 1 that she was feeling tired and that her stomach hurt. She went to bed and her mother, Kristle Gongora, went to check on her.
Makenzie passed away shortly after midnight, according to Southworth. They demand answers as to why she was taken from them so suddenly, Southworth added.
Southworth said they want to raise awareness about COVID-19's impact on children. Whatever the cause, she added, people should change how they view and treat children and the virus.
Makenzie's school district in Northside, Texas, issued a statement to TODAY from her school, Scarborough Elementary. The school statement expressed sadness over Makenzie's passing.
According to the fundraiser, she passed on the same day as her father's birthday.
Makenzie enjoyed cooking and dressing up and also was a fan of the gaming platform Roblox. She was remembered as a brilliant young lady full of life by her family.
Southworth created a GoFundMe campaign shortly after Makenzie's death. According to the fundraiser, she passed on the same day as her father's birthday.
On the afternoon of Makenzie's death, her family tested her for COVID-19, and both her father and 8-year-old sister had positive results, said Southworth and Makenzie's father’s sister Erica Gongora.
In addition to trying to cope with their grief, Makenzie's parents want to do everything possible to make sure they do not lose their second child to the virus, according to Gongora.
Makenzie's family is awaiting information from the Dallas, Texas, lab in which her body is being examined. An autopsy is still pending. The cause of death is still uncertain.