15-year-old cancer survivor dies of COVID-19: 'This is a big loss'

Lizzy Buczak
November 21, 2020 - 2:27 pm

    A 15-year-old girl with Down syndrome, who beat leukemia last July, has died from COVID-19.

    Alexa Rose Veit from Kentucky was described as a “fighter” and “social butterfly” who defeated cancer “on day 30 of a two-year treatment plan,” according to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

    "She was a freshman at Ballard Memorial High School, a member of the Choir, an active member of her church youth group and (thoroughly) enjoyed time with her family and friends," Travis Holder, the Ballard County Emergency Management director wrote in a Facebook post.

    In a news conference on Thursday, the governor added that her death is a “big loss" for a community of individuals "whose kids looked up to her."

    The teen first began feeling sick during Halloween week. In the following days, both Alexa and her mother were diagnosed with COVID.

    Holder explained that her mother was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator, as were her grandparents.

    Alexa, however, displayed only mild symptoms and quarantined at home.

    "As the days went on Alexa began to feel a little worse each day and was eventually hospitalized due to Covid-19 and the development of pneumonia," Holder added.

    As her health continued to decline, she was flown to Nashville and placed on a ventilator.

    Her older sister, who recovered from COVID, was by her side the whole time.

    The moment her mother was released from the hospital, she rushed to be by her daughter’s side, CNN notes. Alexa passed away a day later.

    Holder urged the public not to ignore the severity of the virus.

    "We have got to come to the realization that this is real," he wrote. "This isn't political, it's not something that 'has always been here' it is real. We must start taking the precautions seriously."

    Beshear agreed, stating: "Those who knew Alexa asked we help raise awareness of how deadly this virus is and how important it is to follow the guidelines in place.”

    "Today and every day, I'll wear my mask for Alexa, and I hope you will too,” he added.

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