Detroit, MI – The five-year-old daughter of a Detroit firefighter and a police officer was the first child to die from complications of coronavirus in the state of Michigan.
Skylar Herbert told her parents she had a terrible headache about a month ago, according to the Detroit News.
Skylar’s parents, Ebbie and LaVondria “Bonnie” Herbert, took their daughter to the pediatrician on March 23 after pain medication didn’t help her headache.
She tested positive for strep throat and so the doctor prescribed antibiotics and sent the little girl home to rest, the Detroit News reported.
But the antibiotics didn’t help Skylar’s headache.
“She had been crying all night and saying the headache would not go away,” 46-year-old Bonnie told the Detroit News. “We called the doctor back, and they told us that it takes the medication 48 hours to kick in and to give it some time, but because she was crying so bad, I told my husband we needed to take her to emergency because I just didn’t know.”
The parents took their daughter to Beaumont Royal Oak’s emergency room and there she was tested for coronavirus.
Skylar’s COVID-19 test came back positive the next day and doctors determined the headache and fever were symptoms of the virus, the Detroit News reported.
She was released from the hospital, but the little girl didn’t last long at home.
“We went back to emergency at the Beaumont Hospital’s Farmington campus because I noticed my husband was coughing and having shortness of breath,” her mother said. “Me and Skylar waited in the car, but out of nowhere, Skylar began complaining about her head hurting again and then she just threw up.”
Bonnie, who is a Detroit police officer, said Skylar was shivering despite running a temperature of 100 degrees, and then she had a seizure, the Detroit News reported.
That’s when Ebbie, Skylar’s father and a Detroit firefighter, returned to the car and scooped up his daughter.
“[I told her] Skylar, look at your daddy, Skylar, look at your daddy,” Ebbie said. “She came out of the seizure and me and her mother ran back into the emergency room.”
The little girl was transferred on March 29 to the pediatric ICU at the hospital that had previously discharged her, and there she was sedated and a lumbar puncture was performed, the Detroit News reported.
Her parents said that test revealed that Skylar had meningitis.
They said Skylar developed a rare complication of coronavirus called meningoencephalitis, which caused her brain to swell and a lesion to form on her frontal lobe, the Detroit News reported.
Initially, doctors saw improvements but then the five-year-old relapsed.
“She was really in and out as far as sleeping,” her mother said. “They just cut out a small hole in the front of her head and stuck the tube in so that the fluid could drain.”
But the next day, Skylar was put on a ventilator and the little girl never woke up again, the Detroit News reported.
She died on Sunday.
Her parents, both first responders, said they had no idea how their daughter had gotten infected.
Ebbie’s test the night Skylar had her seizure came back inconclusive, and Bonnie hasn’t been sick, the Detroit News reported.
But the family lives in one of the hardest-hit zip codes in the Detroit area.
As of April 21, 32,967 Michiganders had tested positive for coronavirus, with 2,700 fatalities, according to Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker.