KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo mother is mourning the loss of her 9-year-old daughter, after she says COVID-19 took a toll on her compromised immune system.
Cy’Asia Buchanan was born with a chromosomal disorder that confined her to a feeding tube for years. While this surge of COVID-19 cases is only causing mild symptoms for many, the virus was too much for young Cy’Asia’s body, and she became one of the youngest victims in West Michigan.
When the pandemic came around, her mother, Shatavia Buchanan, took it upon herself to protect her daughter by pulling her out of Kalamazoo Public Schools and quitting her job to take care of her.
“(We) couldn’t really find a babysitter, somebody that was good with her. The babysitter that I did have was grandma. But grandma also works too. It was kind of hard for me, so I really had to stop working and just be at home,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan says as cases spiked over the holidays, she tested positive for COVID-19 and made sure she took the proper precautions around Cy’Asia. Buchanan says she is fully vaccinated from COVID-19 and her children are not.
Cy’Asia came down with a fever that wasn’t going away. Even with Tylenol, Buchanan says it got to the point where she wasn’t acting normal.
“Her heart was beating so fast … you could see her shirt moving,” Buchanan said.
Cy’Asia ended up in the hospital, where she first began to experience kidney failure. But then test results showed she, too, had COVID-19. Cy’Asia was also diagnosed with MRSA, an infection; pneumonia; and HLH, a rare disorder of the immune system, which had to be treated with chemotherapy.
“It was a lot. And me being the person that I am, I really couldn’t wrap my head around it. I really couldn’t handle it. It was a whole of situations,” Buchanan said.
On Saturday, just two days before her 10th birthday, Cy’Asia passed away.
“She couldn’t lay on her back, even with the support of the breathing tube. She couldn’t,” Buchanan cried.
The family celebrated Cy’Asia’s life on what would’ve been her special day. But Buchanan has a message for parents, especially those with kids who are immunocompromised.
“Keep trying your hardest to keep yourselves safe,” Buchanan said.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is investigating a report of neglect involving Cy’Asia. It says it got a call from the hospital Dec. 30 reporting those concerns. As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed.