COVID-19 has claimed the life of a teenaged cancer survivor. Fifteen-year-old Alex Rose Veit of Kentucky made an astounding recovery last year after doctors diagnosed her with leukemia. Sadly, however, she passed away this month after the coronavirus pandemic hit her family.
Born in 2005 with special needs, Veit nevertheless lived a rich and fulfilling life. An active member of her church youth group, the high school freshman has been described as a “social butterfly” by those who remember her.
Her positive attitude was put to the test in July of 2019, when doctors diagnosed the then-14-year-old with leukemia.
“Although Alexa was drained from the treatments that she had to undergo and the long stays in the hospital, her smile, laugh and determination never left,” said Ballard County Emergency Management Director Travis Holder in a statement memorializing the teen.
After a hard struggle, doctors declared Veit to be in remission from leukemia in August of 2019. Seemingly out of the woods, the teen went on to become a student at Ballard Memorial High School.
A Tragic Turn
On October 26th of this year, Veit was at school when she started to feel ill. Her mother took her in for a COVID-19 test, which eventually came back positive.
While waiting for her results, Veit’s mother also became ill with the disease, exhibiting much more severe symptoms than her daughter. Doctors placed the mother on a ventilator while she recovered over the next several days in a Paducah, Kentucky hospital.
As the mother’s condition improved, however, the daughter’s began to deteriorate. Medical workers eventually rushed Veit to a Nashville, Tennessee facility for further treatment, where they put her on a ventilator as well.
Veit’s mother, recovered from her own illness, left the Paducah hospital on Saturday, November 14, rushing immediately to her daughter in Nashville. They were together the next day when Veit succumbed to the disease.
Holder shared Veit’s story the following Wednesday, in part to raise awareness about the serious risks of COVID-19.
“This isn’t political, it’s not something that ‘has always been here,’ it is real,” Holder said. “There is not anything we can do to get rid of COVID-19, but it is our duty as citizens to do everything that we can to reduce the spread to our fellow man.”
Meanwhile, Ballard Memorial High School shared a statement fondly remembering the freshman on November 16.
“We will miss her special kind of mischief, her infectious smile, and the laugh that never failed to light up a room,” the statement read. “Alexa was a regular visitor in our office. She made her rounds in the building, and we all looked forward to seeing what fun she’d bring us every morning. Our world is a little less bright today without Alexa in it, and she will be missed always.”