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9-year-old Florida girl who died of COVID-19 was ‘remarkable,' family says

Child, who is youngest in state to die related to virus, had no underlying conditions, family says

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A Putnam County girl who died from complications due to COVID-19 had no pre-existing health conditions, according to a cousin who is acting as a spokesperson for the girl’s family.

Kimora “Kimmie” Lynum, is the youngest reported death in the state of Florida due to the virus. The state does not disclose whether people who died from the virus had underlying health issues.

Kimmie’s cousin, Dejeon Cain, described the young girl as incredible and remarkable.

“She loved her mom, dad, grandma, uncles and aunties. She was the type of kid that would brighten up your day,” Cain said.

Kimora Lynum, 9, died from complications related to the coronavirus. (Photo provided by family)
Kimora Lynum, 9, died from complications related to the coronavirus. (Photo provided by family) (WJXT)

Cain said Kimmie died suddenly July 17 after spiking a fever.

“Really they didn’t know she had it, at the time,” Cain said, adding that she was healthy and had no known underlying conditions. “According to the county public health department, they said it had nothing to do with travel. They don’t know how she contracted it.”

Cain said Kimmie’s family is no stranger to loss. Her father was recently shot and killed in Alachua County and his death remains under investigation.

“This is crushing because I remember her at the funeral for her dad, it’s a young lady who loved her dad, but nobody can explain why her daddy isn’t here,” Cain said. “She was resilient and strong.”

According to WCJB, a group of people gathered in Gainesville on Thursday for a candlelight vigil in honor of Kimmie. With masks on, more than 100 people came together.

“No one deserves this, words can’t express that she was just amazing. And she didn’t have a chance to live her life but she was always happy, she was resilient and she just was an outgoing young lady,” Cain told WCJB.

An online tribute page says a service is planned to be held for Kimora on Aug. 1 at Historic Evergreen Cemetery in Gainesville. The family has created a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.

According to the state, only five patients aged 17 or younger have died related to the coronavirus. The others were a 17-year-old Pasco County boy, a 16-year-old Lee County girl, an 11-year-old Miami-Dade County boy and an 11-year-old Broward County girl.

But Cain said he’s concerned that number will climb when schools reopen in the state.

“If our kids go to school, we are going to see not just the coronavirus go up, but lives lost,” Cain said. I am telling you we are in danger. We are in danger. And I don’t want anyone to feel what my family has felt. I don’t want anyone to feel what her mother is feeling.”


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