3208219
Kiana Patrice, 15, died from COVID-19 in June.

There is a call for citizens to do more to win the fight against COVID-19.

The passionate plea comes from the father of the youngest COVID-19 patient in Trinidad and Tobago to lose her battle with the deadly virus.

In the first week of June, Kiana Patrice, 15, and her dad, Kianyo Patrice, were admitted to the Couva Multi-Training Facility after they both tested positive for the virus.

Hospitals are a familiar setting for Kiana who had several underlying health conditions.

“Kiana would have been first diagnosed at the age of three with end-stage renal failure. She would have been spending as much as three weeks to a month at a time at the hospital until the age of eight before she had a kidney transplant surgery,” Kianyo told Guardian Media during an interview yesterday.

“She was back and forth in hospital, missing school a lot because it was a lot of days and nights in pain but throughout it all she was very jovial,” Kianyo said.

He added while receiving care for COVID, doctors had informed the family that Kiana would have to restart dialysis treatment once she recovers from the virus.

“To the end of dialysis, she would have gotten shocks and seizures during that process so I do not think she was looking forward to it, but it was necessary until we could have gotten a kidney donor”, he lamented.

With a heart filled with gratitude, a mind eager about the future, and hands always clasped in prayer, Kianyo said his daughter was ready for the challenge.

“Basically, we were spending 24 hours a day next to each other, chatting and talking and looking forward to life outside of Couva,” he said.

After spending close to two weeks in hospital, on June 24, Kiana succumbed to the virus.

Kianyo recalled sitting by her bedside that night, “I told her baby I am going to go up to the ward where I was staying because I was feeling a bit cold, and she told me ‘no daddy stay right here’ but I told her ‘no baby you are warm and comfortable, and I need to go”.

How his daughter contracted the virus remains “a mystery” for Kianyo.

“I was one of the people who got the AstraZeneca shot in May and being strict in my movements home making sure to sanitize and stuff,” he stated.

He hopes this would be a reminder to citizens that they could never be too careful.

“Let’s use my daughter as an example that anyone, any age can succumb to COVID. You might be the lucky one who might be able to fight through it but not everyone around you might have that ability to fight it off,” he emphasised.

Kianyo has written a song to remember his daughter’s life. The song entitled, Shine Through Me reflects Kiana’s love for life and her persistence to share a smile with everyone she encountered, according to him.

“She always maintained a positive outlook in life no matter what people use to tease her about her deformities in school and because her legs were bent,” he said.

Shine Through Me, the gospel song, also pays tribute to Kiana’s passion for life.