“The Friday before he died, he was healthy. By Wednesday, he was dead.”
A California teenager, whose death was initially linked to coronavirus and is still under investigation, died after being denied treatment because he didn’t have health insurance, according to Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.
In a video posted to YouTube, Parrise said the 17-year-old boy, who was not been identified, was turned away from a local urgent care after he showed up feeling ill without any prior health conditions.
“The Friday before he died, he was healthy. He was socializing with his friends,” Parris explained in the somber clip. “By Wednesday, he was dead.”
On the day of his death, the urgent care center had sent him to a hospital, but he went into cardiac arrest on the way there, according to Parris.
He was pronounced dead six hours after arriving to Antelope Valley Hospital.
“By the time he got there, it was too late,” Parris said.
“We’ve learned that once you go into respiratory issues, you have trouble breathing, you’re short of breath and you have a fever, that is the time to get medical treatment without delay,” he added.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health first attributed the death to COVID-19, but later walked back the diagnosis.
Public health officials released a statement saying further investigation is required and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been asked to help.
“Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality,” the statement said. “Patient privacy prevents our offering further details at this time.”
As Parris had previously said the boy died from septic shock, he said he released the video to “clarify a few things.”
Watch the full video above.