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Young Daughter of First Responders Dies of COVID

Skylar Herbert, 5, is Michigan's youngest victim
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2020 10:40 AM CDT
Michigan's Youngest COVID Victim Was Just 5
A file of ambulances, these in Seminole, Fla.   (Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

(Newser) – Michigan has its first child fatality of the COVID-19 outbreak. The parents of 5-year-old Skylar Herbert took her off a ventilator on Sunday after doctors said she had no hope of recovery and was likely brain-dead, reports the Detroit News. Skylar started having headaches about a month ago, and a trip to the hospital revealed she had the coronavirus. Symptoms were mild at first, but Skylar eventually developed a fatal complication: a rare form of meningitis that causes brain swelling. "We basically just knew she wasn't coming back to us,” says mom LaVondria Herbert of the decision to remove her girl from the ventilator.

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LaVondria Herbert is a Detroit police officer and her father, Ebbie, also is a first responder: a city firefighter. It remains unclear how Skylar contracted the virus. While her father showed symptoms at one point, a test came back inconclusive. Prior to Skylar's death, Michigan's youngest victim was 20 years old, reports the Detroit Free Press. The state has registered more than 2,300 coronavirus deaths, with the average age being 73. While Skylar's meningitis complication is a rare one, a woman in the state developed something similar, a rare form of encephalitis, notes the Detroit News. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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