Grieving Parents Discuss Warning Signs of COVID in Children After Daughter, 6, Dies Suddenly

The child’s parents Priscilla and David Morse said they didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary until the day before she died

Gillian (Gigi) Morse
Photo: gofundme

Parents Priscilla Morse and David Morse are grieving the sudden death of their daughter Gigi.

The 6-year-old, they revealed, did not have the typical symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, that people associate with COVID-19 before her death in August.

"We had no idea Gigi was sick other than the day before [she died]," David told CNN.

The parents revealed that the 6-year-old had autism, epilepsy and hydrocephalus.

As treatment for hydrocephalus, their daughter had just gotten a shunt to drain extra cerebrospinal fluid, which is what they thought was the cause of their daughter throwing up.

"That's why we took her to the doctor," Priscilla said. "Typically we wouldn't take our kids to the doctor for throwing up twice but because of her special needs we took her to the doctor."

hospital workers covid

At the doctor's office, Gigi seemed healthy overall. "We were told, 'She's got a stomach bug. Take her home, let her eat some popsicles, get some rest.' So we took her home, put her down for a nap," she recalled while holding back tears.

"I went to the store to get popsicles, and I came home to two ambulances, fire trucks, police cars in front of my house, and my daughter dead."

The only thing aside from vomiting that the parents noticed was a rash on Gigi's shoulder.

"It presents very differently [in children] than it does in adults, so it's hard to know what to look for," Priscilla told CNN.

She advised, "Any parents who have kids who are lethargic, throwing up, and have a rash – they need to go [to a doctor]."

Gillian (Gigi) Morse

Both parents had already contracted COVID-19 and recovered by the time their daughter fell ill.

Rashes and vomiting are not commonly associated with COVID-19 in adults, but they are for children, according to the Mayo Clinic, which also lists symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and poor appetite.

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A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Gigi's final medical expenses, bereavement, and therapy services for their other children – one of which was an 11-year-old who found their sister not breathing.

As of Wednesday night, the GoFundMe had raised more than $28,000 toward its $30,000 goal.

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