Valley Children’s Hospital confirms that a pediatric patient died from COVID-19 complications earlier this week.
The hospital could not release further details on the patient’s gender, ethnicity, age, or circumstances surrounding the death, due to federal and state privacy laws.
“The death of this patient reaffirms that children — and no age group — are not immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” — Valley Children’s Hospital
However, the California Department of Public Health confirmed Friday the COVID-related death of a teenager in the Central Valley. This is the first death in California of a teenager, and this young person had underlying health conditions.
CDPH went on to say there have been no reported deaths in younger age categories, including children 5 and under.
Valley Children’s Statement
Valley Children’s Hospital said in a statement emailed to GV Wire℠:
“Every day, our extraordinary team of doctors and nurses fights alongside some of the most critically ill children in the country with every means possible to enable the future every child deserves. Sometimes, we cannot overcome the overwhelming weight of the challenges some of them face, and that is distressing beyond measure. We understand how all our best efforts cannot ease the grief of our families, something we wish so deeply we could lift.
“I’m speechless when it comes to anything that I can say to the family. It’s a heartbreaking case. It just brings home the reality that this is not sparing even the youngest members of our community.” — Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County’s interim health officer
“The death of this patient reaffirms that children — and no age group — are not immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative, now more than ever, for us to all work together to prevent further spread of this disease.
“Our children deserve no less. “
Fresno County Top Doctor’s Tearful Response
Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County’s interim health officer was asked about the death during a Zoom call with reporters Friday.
He broke down crying while he responded.
“I’m speechless when it comes to anything that I can say to the family. It’s a heartbreaking case. It just brings home the reality that this is not sparing even the youngest members of our community,” said an emotional Vohra.
State Public Health Officer Response
“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of this young person whose death is a tragic and powerful reminder of how serious COVID-19 can be,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, state public health officer and director of the California Department of Public Health.