On Monday, the Spokane Regional Health District listed a terrible milestone for Spokane County: the first COVID-related death of someone under the age of 20. Spokane Health Officer Dr. Frank Velazquez sent a specific statement marking the terrible occasion, calling the loss of a child's life "something that hits a community particularly hard."
Tuesday morning, KHQ spoke with that child's mother. The 'child', according to Stacy Watson-O'Leary, is her 15-year-old daughter, Abby Watson-Freestad. Her daughter, she says, was the light of her life, and many others. Abby's mother says she was a 15-year-old girl who had more hardships and wisdom than most adults. She was diagnosed with severe asthma and allergies which, according to her mother, "were just atrocious. But it was the asthma. It just never subsided. She lived her life carrying breathing treatments with her inhalers and EpiPen's."
For the past 5 weeks, Abby's mother says that her asthma, and other ailments, began getting worse. "She came downstairs, grabbing her chest," her mother says, "yelling 'mommy, it hurts! Please make it stop! Please make the hurt stop!" Stacy says they drove Abby to the hospital immediately. That was last Wednesday and, tragically, the family would learn it was too late. By Wednesday night, her lung had collapsed. On Thursday, she was diagnosed with COVID-19. And on Friday, November 20th, at 5:23pm, her mother says Abby "went home to be with God."
The Spokane Regional Health District reported Abby Watson-Freestad as a COVID-19 death on Monday afternoon.
Family friends have started a Go Fund Me page to help Abby's family. If you feel moved, you can find more information here: GoFundMe