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Girl, 15, dies of Covid the same day she planned to have vaccine
2 October 2021, 23:40 | Updated: 2 October 2021, 23:52
A 15-year-old girl who tested positive for Covid-19 has died on the same day she was due to have her vaccine, her family said.
Jorja Halliday, from Portsmouth, died at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in the Hampshire city on Tuesday after being tested for the virus four days earlier.
The teenager had been forced to cancel her vaccination appointment after going into self-isolation when she tested positive.
In a tribute to her daughter, Tracey Halliday, 40, said that she was a "loving girl", a talented kickboxer and an aspiring musician.
"She was a loving girl and she had lots of friends," Ms Halliday said.
"She was very active, she liked to go out and spend time with her friends and loved spending time with her brothers and sisters.
"Growing up she turned into a beautiful young lady, always wanting to help others, always there for everybody.
"It's heart-wrenching because your kids are always meant to outlive you, and that's the one thing I can't get over," she said.
Ms Halliday said that Jorja's siblings were also devastated by her death.
She explained that Jorja first developed flu-like symptoms before taking a PCR test, which gave a positive result, leading to her isolating at their home.
Jorja was struggling to eat on the Sunday but by Monday she could not eat at all due to her throat hurting.
Ms Halliday contacted a doctor who prescribed antibiotics but when Jorja's condition worsened, she was seen by a doctor who said her heart rate was double what it should be and she was taken to hospital.
"They realised how serious it was and I was still allowed to touch her, hold her hand, hug her and everything else," Ms Halliday said. "They did allow me that. I'm at the point where I can't comprehend that it's happened.
"I was with her the whole time. They tried to put her on a ventilator to give her body a chance to recover. Her heart rate didn't stabilise. Her heart couldn't take the strain.
"They worked as well as I think they could medically but were unable to save her."
Ms Halliday added: "She had the best of care, I know that they did everything they could to save her."
Preliminary results from the hospital's medical examiner suggested Jorja had Covid myocarditis - heart inflammation caused by the virus.
Ms Halliday said that Jorja did not have any known underlying medical conditions, adding: "She was going to have the jab on Tuesday.
"But because she tested positive on Saturday she was isolating. When her isolation period was over she was going to get it.
"The day that she passed away was the day that she would have had it done."