BALLARD COUNTY, KY (WSIL) -- The community of Ballard County, Kentucky is remembering the life of a local teenager who died this week due to complications from COVID-19.
Alexa Rose Veit is the first school-aged child in the State of Kentucky to lose their life due to COVID-19.
Alexa had several underlying conditions, a child with down syndrome and a survivor of Leukemia, her mother says she was an otherwise regular child who brought joy to those that knew her.
"Loved music, choir, youth, church, playing with her friends, hanging out, arguing with her sisters and loving them too," says Alexa's mother, Kim Veit. "Just your typical teenager."
Alexa developed symptoms of COVID-19 at the end of October and over the following weeks, her condition became critical and she was flown to Nashville to be under the care of her primary physicians.
"Ultimately her little body just gave out, her lungs and her body just couldn't handle it any longer," says Veit. "And she's always been a tough, resilient child -- and it took a very serious toll."
Ballard County Emergency Management director Travis Holder posted to the agency's Facebook, calling attention to the loss in the community, urging residents to recognize the reality of the virus and do their part to help stop its spread.
"This isn't just affecting the elderly -- all we see is, it's getting in nursing homes and the elderly population and it's not; this girl was 15 years old," explains Holder. "Until we get a vaccine and until we get control of this, people need to be more considerate to the other people in the community."
Alexa's mother says they took precautions in their daily life, wearing masks and keeping social interactions to a minimum. She says she understands people have different opinions on COVID, but for her family the situation is "very real."
"Some people are skeptical about COVID, and the effects that it has, but it's something that's very, very real," says Veit. "I can attest to it as a human being and as a mother; the last thing on the face of the earth that you ever want to do is bury your child, especially over something that, might possibly could have been avoided."
She says she hopes Alexa's story will help raise the awareness to taking precautions that might save someone's life.
"And makes people think twice about masking and taking precautions and being careful with their own lives as well as others," says Veit. "It will be worth it. It will be worth it."
Alexa was a freshman at Ballard Memorial High School. Instructors there say they hope she is remembered for "her smile, her laugh, and her determination" to make the best of difficult situations.