Milwaukee family grieves the loss of 14-year-old boy due to 'complications' of COVID-19

NOW: Milwaukee family grieves the loss of 14-year-old boy due to ’complications’ of COVID-19

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee family is grieving the loss of a 14-year-old boy who died due to complications of COVID-19.

Records from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office identified the boy as 14-year-old Alex Hernandez. He died Thursday, April 1 at Children's Wisconsin.

The report shows his cause of death was "complications of infection with novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)." He had leukemia and had a bone marrow transplant in 2019.

He contracted COVID-19 in November 2020 and suffered a slow decline. His infection remained active and he tested positive on March 27.

His mom, Noemi Hernandez, told CBS 58 in Spanish that Alex was determined to live life to the fullest. She described him as "happy" and "content."

She said throughout her son's battle with cancer and COVID-19, he never lost hope. He used to tell his mom that he didn't know what he would do without her, and now, she says it's the other way around. She also said his classmates held a graduation party for him.

Dr. Margaret Hennessy, a board member for the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said children dying from COVID-19 is rare but not unheard of.

"For the United States, it's over 250 deaths and that's actually more than we normally would see with influenza," she said.

Alex's death is Wisconsin's third reported COVID-19 death among the 10-19 age group.

Hennessy said COVID-19 is "low risk" for children, but certain conditions increase the risk, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

"Many children who are severely immune compromised are often not going out and doing things, they're at home. So it's their caregivers who potentially could be bringing that disease home," she said.

She said with that in mind, people need to continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

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