A 4-year-old girl who just started preschool never made it to the hospital after contracting COVID-19 this week in Texas.
Within a day of Kali Cook showing symptoms of the virus, she died in her sleep at her home, according to media reports. She became the youngest COVID death in Galveston County since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to KPRC.
Her mother, Karra Harwood, was unvaccinated against the virus that has killed nearly 60,000 Texans.
“I was one of the people that was anti, I was against it,” she told The Daily News in Galveston. “Now, I wish I never was.”
Kali was described by her mother as a “funny and sassy” girl who would “rather play with worms and frogs than wear bows,” The Daily News reported.
She started preschool last month at Kenneth E. Little Elementary School in Bacliff, according to the Houston Chronicle. The school district “strongly recommends” students and staff members wear face coverings, but they are not required.
Harwood said she does not know where Kali got the virus, the Chronicle reported. Health officials do not believe she contracted COVID-19 from her classroom.
The virus spread in Harwood’s household during the week of Kali’s death. The mother tested positive and tried to quarantine from her family members, but her 5-month-old son also caught it and has been taken to the hospital, KPRC reported.
“It’s serious, and we never could have believed this could happen,” Harwood told the TV station.
Harwood said in a Facebook post she and her fiancée, who she said has lung problems, were debating over getting the vaccine when the outbreak in her home occurred.
“We are stuck to the house where my baby lost her life due to (COVID-19),” the mother said.
As of last week, at least 24 children under the age of 10 have died from COVID-19 in Texas, according to the state’s health department.
Harwood told The Daily News she hopes Kali won’t be an anonymous statistic in the state’s death toll.
“She definitely touched so many lives and was one of a kind,” Harwood wrote on Facebook. “Nothing can or will ever fill the hole in my heart of life without her.”