Smith County family speaks out after teen dies from COVID-19

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SMITH COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The family of the 13-year-old Smith County girl who died from COVID-19 on Saturday said they are focusing on positive times they had with her to help them get through the pain.

Mykel Robinson, the mother of Makayla, recalled the last time she saw her daughter alive.

“They were pumping the breathing pump thing. It was blood coming out. So, I’m asking like, ‘What’s wrong?’ They said, ‘I got to get stable, I got to get her stable,'” her mother stated. “I touched her, I talked to her, and her pulse came back. I turned and left, she coded again and that’s the last time I saw her.”

Makayla was a student at Raleigh Junior High School.

“Why is this school still open? Why is it not an option for these kids to have online schooling? Because I know for sure how I am, and I did everything I can to try to protect my daughter,” said Justin Waddell, Makayla’s father.

On August 6, students in Smith County returned to school. Within the first few days, 76 students and 11 teachers tested positive for COVID-19. The school district plans to hold another vaccine drive for students and faculty.

Makayla was an active member in her schools marching band. Her death comes weeks after the school’s former band director and his wife died from COVID-19.

The teen’s family said Makayla was healthy before contracting COVID-19 and did not have any underlying conditions.

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