Dar’Yana, 15, who loved music and dancing and had dreams of becoming a cosmetologist, died May 16 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, the youngest person in Maryland — and one of the youngest across the country — to die of complications of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Dar’Yana, the oldest of four children in the Baltimore County family, was originally diagnosed with covid-19 and Kawasaki disease, a rare illness that causes swelling in medium-size arteries throughout the body. Knight said doctors now say Dar’Yana didn’t have Kawasaki.
The doctors at Johns Hopkins, Knight said, were perplexed by Dar’Yana’s case.
“They don’t understand why she died so young and so healthy,” Knight said. “They say this is the most rare case they have ever seen. . . . I don’t understand why, why God took her.”
The vast majority of those younger than 18 who are infected with the coronavirus have mild symptoms or none at all.
Dar’Yana’s symptoms began with a stomachache about a week before she died. She didn’t have an appetite and had developed a reddish rash near her armpit. Knight also noticed that she wore a patent-leather jacket inside. Her stepfather asked her why she was wearing it, and she said she was cold, Knight said, which signaled a fever.