The Fort Myers, Florida community mourned after a local teen died of complications from the new coronavirus, COVID-19, at the end of June. Carsyn Leigh Davis, 17, had already battled several illnesses in her short life, including cancer and an autoimmune disorder, but it was COVID-19 that led to her death on June 23.
But a newly-released report from the medical examiner, shows a different side of her death. According to the report, Davis contracted COVID-19 after attending a 100-person party at First Youth Church, where attendees were not required to social distance, and she did not wear a mask.
And after Davis developed COVID-19 symptoms, her parents treated her at home, waiting nearly a week before taking her to a hospital. Her mother, a nurse, and a man identified as her father in the report, a physician assistant, gave Davis azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump as a COVID-19 treatment despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration that it caused virus patients to die more rapidly.
Davis, who is considered immunocompromised due to her past illnesses and her preexisting condition, obesity, attended the party on June 10. Three days later, she developed a frontal headache, sinus pressure and a mild cough, which her family believed was a sinus infection, the report states.
On June 19, her mother thought she looked “gray” while sleeping, and tested her oxygen level, which was alarmingly low, in the 40s. A healthy oxygen level is around 95. The mother then used Davis’ grandfather’s home oxygen tank, which got her oxygen level into the 60s, and hydroxychloroquine before taking her to the hospital.
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At the hospital, Davis tested positive for COVID-19 and doctors recommended that she be intubated, which her parents declined. They instead had her receive plasma therapy treatments, but after three days, her condition had not improved, and doctors insisted on intubating Davis.
On June 22, Davis' condition continued to decline and her parents asked that she be put on life support. She died one day later.
Facebook Carsyn Leigh Davis
Davis’ mother wrote in a note shared on a GoFundMe set up by a friend that they are “incredibly saddened by her passing at this young age, but are comforted that she is pain free. Heaven gained an angel.”
“Carsyn did not have an easy life,” her mother continued. “She fought health challenges from the age of 2, including cancer and a very rare autoimmune disorder. She endured years of treatment, doctor visits, specialists, and the effects of those treatments. She lost her dad at the age of 10. Yet, she survived it all, never complaining and never focusing on herself. Even through the ravages of Covid, fighting to breathe, she never once shed a tear, complained or expressed fear.”
Davis’ death sparked outrage after the medical examiner released their report. Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones, who was fired from her position at the Florida Department of Health in mid-May for refusing to change what coronavirus data the state publicly shared, wrote about Davis’ death on her personally-operated Florida COVID Victims site and in a series of viral tweets.
Mother has this to say on Facebook the day before her daughter died, while she was in the hospital. pic.twitter.com/4Qk7W3Lq5O— Rebekah Jones aka #Insubordinate #scientist (@GeoRebekah) July 7, 2020
Jones found Davis’ mother’s now-deleted Facebook page, which included conspiracy theories about underground governmental networks, anti-vaccine language and support for anti-mask protests. Davis’ mother also posted her frustration that doctors had refused to give her daughter hydroxychloroquine.
“None of this had to happen,” Jones said. “I am so saddened for this girl and the loss of life. I am so angered by the danger of anti-science conspiracy theories and the people those altered-mindsets put in harm’s way.”
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