Jamaica: 9 year old dies of dengue – Mother makes plea to parents not to delay treatment

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 When nine-year-old Naylia Lewis complained about a slight headache last week Monday, little did her mother, Kerry Ann Davis, know that the next few days would be her daughter’s last.

Lewis died on Saturday from what was presumed to be severe dengue with shock, according to her death certificate.

She would have turned 10 years old on January 30.

Naylia is one of dozens of Jamaicans who have been killed by the mosquito-borne disease since 2018 in a regional epidemic of record proportions.

In Jamaica, there were at least 44 deaths between January 1 and November 7, 2019, and more than 10,500 notifications, more than half classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed –

the latest data provided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. There were more than 2.7 million cases in the Americas in 2019 alone.

Davis told The Gleaner yesterday that she gave her daughter painkillers to treat with the headache, but by Wednesday, her daughter had exhibited another symptom of the mosquito-borne disease, which has killed dozens of people in Jamaica since 2018.

“The Wednesday, she vomit … . So the Thursday morning early, I wake up and carry her to the doctor. Dem nebulise her, give her fever and cold medicine and all a that and give her prescription,” she said, indicating that the doctor had given her enough medication to last until Monday, January 7.

On Friday, Davis said that her daughter seemed to be on the road to recovery, but by Saturday, when they would usually be engaged in household chores, things took a turn for the worse.

“Saturday morning, she get up, she vomit … so me start make some tea for her. Then she say she want go bathroom. Then mi babyfather carry har to the bathroom, then me step outside. Mi gi my boss the prescription to fill. When me come back in, that’s the time somebody run come call me and say the baby collapse pon her father,” Davis said.

The Parade Gardens resident said that she then rushed her daughter to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, where she was admitted.

“When we carry her go a the hospital, we rush har in and string her up and all a dat. Try to get pulse from har. Try fi get heartbeat and all a dat. Dem call the specialist dem from ICU (intensive care unit). Doctor come and she talk to me and say when me baby come in, she not breathing, and we waa try fi get har heartbeat and pulse from har, so mi say ‘okay’,” Davis told our news team.

According to Davis, the doctors were able to detect her daughter’s heartbeat, but she remained unresponsive.

She was then transferred to the ICU, where she died later that evening.

Davis, who has three other children, said her daughter had not exhibited many of the symptoms associated with dengue and is making a plea to other parents to not leave anything to chance.

“If them have headache, severe belly pain, back pain, fever, joint pain, rash, bleeding from the nose, rush them to Bustamante Hospital, please. Even if you don’t see the bleeding through the nose,” she said.

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