Girl, 15, dies of Covid on day she was due to get vaccine

Jorja Halliday’s mother hailed her as ‘a loving girl’ after she died of the virus

Daniel Keane
Sunday 03 October 2021 14:07
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<p>Jorja Halliday is believed to have suffered heart inflammation</p>

Jorja Halliday is believed to have suffered heart inflammation

A 15-year-old girl who tested positive for Covid died on the day that she was due to have her vaccine, her family said.

Jorja Halliday, from Portsmouth, died at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in the city on Tuesday after being tested for the virus four days earlier.

Her mother Tracey Halliday said that the GCSE student at the Portsmouth Academy was a talented kickboxer and an aspiring musician.

She said: “She was a loving girl and she had lots of friends. She was very active, she liked to go out and spend time with her friends and loved spending time with her brothers and sisters.

“Growing up she turned into a beautiful young lady, always wanting to help others, always there for everybody. It’s heart-wrenching because your kids are always meant to outlive you, and that's the one thing I can't get over.”

Ms Halliday revealed that her daughter had first developed flu-like symptoms before she took a PCR test which gave a positive result. Jorja later began a period of self-isolation at their home.

However, Ms Halliday said that Jorja was struggling to eat on Sunday. By Monday she could not eat at all due to her throat hurting.

Ms Halliday said she contacted a doctor who prescribed antibiotics but when Jorja’s condition worsened, she was seen by a doctor who said her heart rate was double what it should be and she was taken to hospital. Preliminary results from the hospital's medical examiner indicated Jorja had Covid myocarditis, heart inflammation caused by the virus.

“They realised how serious it was and I was still allowed to touch her, hold her hand, hug her and everything else,” Ms Halliday said.

“They did allow me that. I'm at the point where I can't comprehend that it's happened. I was with her the whole time.”

Ms Halliday said that doctors had put her daughter on ventilation but this failed to stabilise her heart rate.

She added: “They worked as well as I think they could medically but were unable to save her. She had the best of care, I know that they did everything they could to save her.”

Ms Halliday said that Jorja did not have any known underlying medical conditions. She added: “She was going to have the jab on Tuesday.

“But because she tested positive on Saturday she was isolating. When her isolation period was over she was going to get it. The day that she passed away was the day that she would have had it done.”

It is rare to die of Covid if you are under 18 and have no underlying health conditions, but a a few teenagers in England have died after testing positive for Covid.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton in south London, died aged 13 in March last year after testing positive for the virus. In February, a 16-year-old with no underlying conditions was recorded to have died from the virus.

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