A 12-year-old girl in England died from complications linked to coronavirus just six days after developing a minor cough, an inquest heard Wednesday.
Fabiana Zoppelli contracted a minor cough on June 1 and two days later, she developed a rash and started vomiting. Her mother, Itohan Ehiggie, rushed her to a local hospital. Upon arrival, the girl was placed on an oxygen machine but was soon put on a ventilator after her condition deteriorated, ITV reported.
When her condition did not improve, the girl was transferred to a bigger hospital where she was again put on a ventilator at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on June 6. Despite the treatment, her oxygen level started dropping.
Doctors agreed that the girl should be transferred to another hospital to be placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine. Unfortunately, while leaving the hospital on a mobile ventilator on June 7, she went into cardiac arrest and died.
"It was a very new illness and the belief at the time was that children did not suffer complications from COVID. At the time, COVID was very less understood, not just for adults, even more for children. We have never seen children suffering from COVID complications like Fabiana did. We believed she would turn a corner and get better," pediatric consultant Prakash Kamath of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was quoted as saying by Manchester Evening News.
The inquest heard that the girl had a rare growth condition called Floating-Harbor syndrome (FHS), which caused a slow growth rate and delayed speech development. The syndrome may have contributed to the girl's death but it did not lead to it. It was ruled that she died due to pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by the coronavirus.
"Fabiana was very, very unwell and was exceptionally unlucky to have the lung difficulties she developed at the same time of the pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome. She was generally a healthy child before she developed a cough, despite no known COVID contact. Every effort was made to make sure Fabiana survived," assistant coroner Nicholas Flanagan said.