‘Amazing’ schoolgirl, 12, died with Covid just days after getting minor cough

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Fabiana Zoppelli died less than a week after falling ill with Covid  (Corpus Christi RC Primary School)
Fabiana Zoppelli died less than a week after falling ill with Covid (Corpus Christi RC Primary School)

A 12-year-old girl died from complications linked to coronavirus just days after developing a minor cough, an inquest has heard.

Fabiana Zoppelli suffered the rare growth condition floating-harbor syndrome but was considered a “generally healthy” child.

But an inquest has heard she passed away less than a week after falling ill with Covid-19 and suffering a minor cough.

One doctor described her case as the worst he had seen in a child throughout the entire pandemic, Manchester Evening News reports.

The devastation began on 1 June last year when the youngster, from Oldham, came down with a cough.

Her mother, Itohan Ehiggie, called doctors two days later after she developed a rash and started vomiting.

But, despite being taken to the Royal Oldham Hospital, her breathing deteriorated rapidly.

She was placed on an oxygen machine and later a ventilator before being transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital, where she died on 7 June.

No-one else in the family – who moved to the UK from Italy in 2015 – had come down with coronavirus.

Data suggests she was only of only 61 children who died following a positive Covid diagnosis in the first year of the pandemic.

Giving evidence, paediatric consultant Prakash Kamath, of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have never seen children suffering from Covid complications like Fabiana did.

“We believed she would turn a corner and get better. I have never seen any child transferred for intensive care in the last 18 months.”

Teachers at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Primary School, in Oldham, previously paid tribute to the child who they described as “an amazing girl”.

A statement said: “Fabiana enriched both our school and the whole community with her great enthusiasm and love for life. She was a friend to everyone and tried her best in everything she did.”

Assistant coroner Nicholas Flanagan ruled that Fabiana died as a result of natural causes.

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