A Florida teenager with “a complex medical history” attended a large church function where she did not wear a mask and social distancing was not enforced, and when she became sick, her parents gave her a dose of hydroxychloroquine in the days before she died of COVID-19, according to a medical examiner’s report.
The girl, Carsyn Leigh Davis, 17, of Fort Myers, fought health issues since age 2, including cancer and an autoimmune disorder, her mother, Carole Brunton Davis, said in a Facebook post that has been deleted, according to the News-Press of Fort Myers. Davis did not reply to requests for comment Tuesday. She told the newspaper that her daughter’s father died when she was 10.
Carsyn and 100 other children attended the church event June 10, according to the Miami-Dade County medical examiner’s report.
It is unclear where Carsyn contracted COVID-19.
Her mother, a nurse, and her stepfather, a physician’s assistant, “prophylactically treated her with azithromycin,” an antibiotic, from June 10 to June 15, the report says.
On June 13, Carsyn developed a frontal headache, sinus pressure and a mild cough, which her family thought were due to a sinus infection. Her symptoms persisted, and more than a week later, the report says, her mother, saying she looked “gray” while sleeping, gave her oxygen through her grandfather’s portable machine and a dose of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that President Donald Trump suggested could be beneficial for treating COVID-19. (That theory was debunked through a National Institutes of Health study.)
Carsyn was taken to a hospital by her mother and her stepfather, according to the report. She was transferred to a pediatric intensive care unit at another hospital, where she was diagnosed with the coronavirus on June 19.
Her parents initially declined intubation, the report says. She received plasma therapy June 20 and 21. On June 22, after her condition did not improve, she was intubated. She was transferred to a Miami-Dade County hospital, where she died at 1:06 p.m. June 23, two days after her 17th birthday.
Carsyn’s case gained renewed interest Sunday after data scientist Rebekah Jones, the former head of the Florida public information portal that lists the number of coronavirus casualties and cases, highlighted her death on her website dedicated to Florida coronavirus victims.
Jones, who was responsible for updating the COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard, has said she was ousted in May for refusing to manipulate state health data, which as of Tuesday showed 213,794 reported coronavirus cases and 3,841 deaths. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferre, said in a statement in May that Jones’ “blatant disrespect” for professionals who were working to provide updates on the pandemic was harmful.
Jones said in a series of recent tweets that the youth event Carsyn attended was hosted by First Assembly of God in Fort Myers.
The church told NBC News in a statement that it is following all health guidance with regard to holding church services.
“It is heartbreaking that a young lady who frequently attended Youth Church over the past few years has recently passed away. The church, and many members of Youth Church particularly, had reached out to her family and her during her illness, praying for her and sending video messages and personal encouragement while she was going through her illness and in the hospital,” the church said. “Out of respect for her family, and at their request, the church did not comment to the media about her illness and her passing. The church intends to continue to honor that request.”
The church said that because “false reports have been picked up, perpetuated and posted throughout national, local and social media,” it has been subject to a relentless attack and “finds itself forced to make this statement in an effort to get the truth out.”
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Jones said on her website that she is saddened by Carsyn’s death.
“Every death on this website is heartbreaking. Every minute lost in someone’s life is a tragedy,” she wrote.
She added, “But this one will stick with me long after this virus has torn through our communities.”