GALVESTON COUNTY – One Bacliff mother is warning other parents to take COVID seriously after a heartbreaking death.
Karra Harwood is missing her little girl, 4-year-old Kali Cook.
“She was amazing. She was beautiful, but not the kind that wanted bows in her hair. She’d rather be in the backyard catching frogs,” Harwood said.
Kali was full of life, with a spunky personality that was known around town.
“She lit up any room she walked in,” Harwood said.
However, Harwood said her message to parents is to be cautious and careful. Harwood is devastated. Kali tested positive for COVID-19, and within a day, she passed away in her sleep.
Now, Harwood says she has tested positive for COVID-19.
“I got tested for COVID and became positive. I tried to quarantine myself from them. We have a two-story home. They were upstairs and I was downstairs,” Harwood said.
With five children, Harwood said they did their best and stayed home.
“I just wanted everybody to know that it happened so fast,” Harwood said. “By 2 a.m. [Kali] started to run a fever. My mom came down and asked my fiancee and me if we could help her take some medicine. We gave her some medicine and by 7 a.m. she was gone.”
Kali was the first COVID-19 related death of a child in Galveston County, according to the Galveston County Health District.
Medical examiners determined the cause of death was from COVID. The Galveston County Local Health Authority said child deaths from COVID were not surprising because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant.
“Now we’re seeing our largest group of people with COVID is children under 10. So the fact that we’re getting more and more children under 10 getting COVID, it shouldn’t be surprising that some of them are getting sick. Some of them are getting in the hospital and some dying. So in that way, it’s not a surprise,” Dr. Philip Keiser, Galveston County Local Health Authority, said. “It’s very sad. It’s very sobering. I hope that this will be an opportunity for people to start putting away the anger that they have about COVID and realize that this is serious.”
Harwood said the day before Kali seemed perfectly fine. However, COVID has spread to her household.
“My 5-month-old baby even has it. I’ve taken him to the hospital every night since because I feel like they’re not getting better, and I’m terrified,” Harwood said.
Now, she is warning parents to keep a close eye on their children’s conditions and wear PPE.
“It’s serious, and we never could have believed this could happen,” Harwood said.
As for little Kali, Harwood said she is determined to keep her memory alive.
“No one could ever forget her, ever. She’ll never be forgotten,” Harwood said.
Harwood added that she wishes she would have taken COVID-19 more seriously. Her family was not vaccinated.
Loved ones created a GoFundMe for the family and for Kali’s funeral expenses.