A teenage lady in Brampton, Ont., is among the many youngest Canadians to die with COVID-19 after her household mentioned she contracted the coronavirus amid the province’s devastating third wave.
Emily Victoria Viegas, 13, died on April 22, in response to a web based fundraiser launched in her reminiscence that is raised greater than $80,000 for her grieving household.
Household buddy Adrian Goddard, who organized the fundraiser, advised CBC Information that Viegas had contracted COVID-19 in addition to pneumonia. Her mom is at present in intensive care with COVID-19, Goddard mentioned, whereas her youthful brother can be contaminated and in isolation, however doing OK.
Dr. Andrew Healey, William Osler Well being System’s interim company chief of emergency medication, mentioned Monday afternoon that that is the primary particular person beneath the age of 19 who has died of their well being system.
“We prolong our deepest condolences to her household, and our ideas are with them at this extremely troublesome time,” he mentioned.
Healey, who can be chair of the well being system’s COVID scientific response committee, mentioned he could not communicate to if Viegas had any pre-existing well being circumstances. He did observe, nevertheless, that within the final 24 hours, he has admitted 5 folks with COVID-19 to the intensive care unit, and that three of these folks had no earlier well being circumstances.
Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s chief coroner, confirmed Monday that the province is investigating the teenager’s dying.
“What a tragedy,” he mentioned. “My coronary heart goes out to the household and all of those who knew her. And we’re actually making an attempt to grasp the circumstances extra clearly.”
Talking with CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, Huyer mentioned it is unclear if Viegas was sickened by one of many coronavirus variants of concern, which have been discovered to be extra transmissible and extra more likely to trigger severe sickness and dying. Variants of concern now account for a substantial majority of recent infections driving the third wave of the pandemic in Ontario.
Many emergency physicians and demanding care nurses have mentioned that, anecdotally, the demographics of sufferers sick with COVID-19 being admitted to ICUs has skewed youthful throughout the third wave.
WATCH | Physician says lady’s dying is heartbreaking, system is overwhelmed:
Dr. Kali Barrett, a essential care doctor at College Well being Community in Toronto, advised CBC Information final week that ICUs are more and more stuffed with important employees and their members of the family.
Even so, extreme sickness and dying from COVID-19 among the many youngest Canadians has been exceedingly uncommon. In line with nationwide statistics, of the 208,195 folks aged 19 and beneath who’ve been contaminated, 955 have been admitted to hospital. Of these, 142 wanted intensive care.
Eight Canadians 19 and beneath have died with the illness, together with three in Ontario.
Demise ‘actually heartbreaking,’ leaders say
A spokesperson confirmed that Viegas was a pupil within the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District Faculty Board (DPCDSB).
“It is a loss to the whole DPCDSB neighborhood. Right now, we’re specializing in supporting employees and college students and respecting the privateness of the grieving household,” the board mentioned in an e mail.
In an announcement launched Monday morning, Premier Doug Ford mentioned his “coronary heart completely breaks for this household.”
“I can not think about the insufferable ache and sorrow they’re feeling proper now,” Ford mentioned. “It is heart-wrenching and a devastating reminder of what this virus can do. On behalf of all Ontarians, I am sending my deepest condolences to everybody who’s affected by the horrible lack of this younger life.”
Throughout Peel Area, which has been particularly arduous hit all through the pandemic, the lady’s dying got here as a shock to political leaders.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown referred to as Viegas’s dying “past coronary heart wrenching” on Twitter.
“As a guardian, I’m misplaced for phrases. Horrifying,” he mentioned.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie additionally wished the household properly. “To lose somebody so younger to this virus is actually heartbreaking,” she mentioned.