• Kennedy Stonum died of COVID-19 complications on Feb.11
  • During hospitalization, she developed Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
  • The doctors also diagnosed with a severe brain bleed

A 17-year-old girl from California has died of COVID-19 complications after she remained unvaccinated despite several pleas from her family. After the teen who felt "indestructible" died from the infection, her family now urges others of her age to get vaccinated against the virus.

Kennedy Stonum of Orange County was hospitalized with COVID-19 by the end of January and had to be placed on a ventilator. During the hospitalization, she developed Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis ( HLH ), an aggressive and life-threatening syndrome of excessive immune activation. The rare condition that usually develops after viral infections affected her immune system causing inflammation to the organs.

Kennedy's condition further deteriorated, and on Feb. 11, doctors diagnosed her with a severe brain bleed. Her family decided to take her off life support, and she succumbed to death the same day, The Sacramento Bee reported.

After the teen's tragic death, her father Lee Stonum revealed that their entire family had begged her to get the vaccine, but she did not heed. "I think like most teenagers, she felt indestructible. I know I did when I was that age. She didn’t know enough about the vaccine," Lee said, according to CBS Local.

"I pleaded with her actually. Probably not the right tone to take, but what do you do?" the teen's grandmother, Marilyn Shea-Stonum, said. However, the girl refused to get the vaccine as she was influenced by her circle of friends, who were mostly not unvaccinated, Shea-Stonum added.

Lee now urges all teenagers to trust science and get vaccinated. "I want to tell them to trust the science. I want to (tell) them that YouTube and TikTok aren’t researching. I want to tell them that even if it’s a one in a million chance, those statistics don’t matter when it’s your child," Lee said.

representational image pixabay

According to a CDC report, in December, COVID-19 infection in unvaccinated adolescents aged 12-17 is eight times higher compared to the vaccinated in the same age group. "COVID-19 can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. In some situations, the complications from infection can lead to death," CDC warns while advising to vaccinate all children above the age of five.