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The mother of a Maryland teen claims her daughter died of complications related to the novel coronavirus, with a rare inflammatory illness that’s likely related to COVID-19 infections in children suspected in her death.

Last week, 15-year-old Dar’yana Dyson, of Dundalk, began to feel unwell, telling her mother, Kandice Knight, that her stomach was upset and she did not have an appetite. Eventually, she was taken to a local hospital, with one WBAL-TV anchor saying on Twitter she was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

At the hospital, Dar’yana reportedly developed shortness of breath and a rash — the latter of which has been reported in pediatric COVID-19 patients with “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children,” or MIS-C. The syndrome has been paralleled to Kawasaki disease, a condition that causes swelling in medium-sized arteries throughout the body.

Several children across the U.S. and abroad have developed the illness in recent weeks, with experts warning more cases of the Kawasaki disease-like inflammatory condition are likely to emerge as the virus continues to spread. The increasing number of cases has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week to issue an advisory regarding MIS-C. 

The condition has been said to affect children who test positive for a current or recent infection by SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes a COVID-19 infection. Knight told local news station FOX 45 that her daughter tested positive for virus antibodies.

Dar’yana was placed on a ventilator shortly after arriving at the hospital but died a few days later, WBAL-TV reported.

“It happened so fast. I never thought that taking my daughter to the hospital for a stomach pain that I wouldn’t be walking out of there with her,” Knight told WBAL-TV.

“I’m so lost right now I don’t even know what to say,” she told another news outlet. “It was the worst thing I ever could’ve experienced in my life.”

The Maryland Department of Health has since updated its COVID-19 data dashboard to reflect the death of at least one child under the age of 19 in the state. 

In response to her daughter’s death, Knight is urging other parents to take the virus seriously.

“They really don’t believe it until it hits close to home,” she said. “I was one of those people.”

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