Parents say 5-year-old daughter who died from COVID-19 was ‘perfectly healthy’


AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The parents of a Texas kindergartener who tested positive for COVID-19 said doctors told them she would be fine and discharged her – less than 24 hours later she was dead.

Her mother, Lastassija White, said they taught 5-year-old Tagan to be careful and wear a mask in public at all times.

“She knew she needed to wear a mask,” White said. “Like sometimes I would forget my mask and she would say ‘mom, you don’t have a mask!”

It was last Tuesday, though, when White first noticed something was off.

“She was just sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. That went on until Tuesday and Wednesday. She was still eating and drinking, and then Wednesday night she started throwing up. So that Thursday, that’s when I decided to take her to the ER,” said White.

Tagan did not have common symptoms, such as a fever, cough, or sore throat. However, that Thursday she tested positive for COVID-19.

White explained, “And (the doctor) came in, they discharged us and just told me that she would be fine. It doesn’t affect kids, (and advised) not to have her around anybody older.”

Throughout the evening, she grew weaker.

White continued, “I laid her back down and when I woke up at 3 a.m. … she was unresponsive, but she was still breathing.”

Even after calling 9-1-1 and emergency services arriving later that night, 5-year-old Tagan died.

Her father, Quincy Drone, said, “We feel as parents that our daughter could have been saved. I mean, we feel that we’re not just saying that because it’s our daughter. We just honestly feel like even if … they probably shouldn’t have sent her home. I mean it was just mistakes made … too many mistakes made that cost a 5-year-old her life.”

While her parents deal with this tragedy, they want to spread awareness so that it doesn’t happen to other families.

“This doctor told us that our child would be fine, and our child didn’t even make it 24 hours. She died within the next 15 hours,” said Drone.

“My daughter was perfectly healthy,” White said. “Perfectly healthy. There’s no way that should have happened.”

Drone continued, “We’re trying to bring light, so this doesn’t happen again. We don’t want any parents to feel what … we can’t even tell y’all what we’re feeling right now.”

Tagan’s service will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Temple of Praise Church.

The Amarillo Independent School District, which oversees the kindergarten Tagan attended, is reporting cases in their schools but not deaths. Officials issued the following statement:

“Amarillo ISD does not confirm deaths of students or staff. With regards to reporting COVID-19 cases, in an effort to be transparent our district reports student and staff cases of COVID-19 daily on campus websites and also notifies parents by e-mail each time there is a positive case in their child’s school. To answer your question about the reporting of any deaths associated with COVID-19, that would be handled by the health department.” 

All photos used in this video were provided by Tagan’s parents, Quincy Drone and Lastassija White.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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