“While I Was Sitting Beside My Dead Daughter, People Were Protesting To Drop Mask Mandates”

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 7, 2021

A 10-year-old girl from Virginia lost her life to COVID-19 complications five days later showing symptoms. Her parents said that she contracted the virus after being the nurse of her classroom.

Teresa Sperry was in Virginia’s Hillpoint Elementary School’s fifth grade. Her teacher appointed her as her class’s nurse wrote her mother Nicole Sperry after she lost her daughter on 27th September.

“While I Was Sitting Beside My Dead Daughter, People Were Protesting To Drop Mask Mandates”, Says A Mother Who Lost Her 10-Year-Old To COVID-19

Nicole wrote that her daughter was completely healthy and would have remained healthy if people had not sent their sick children to school with her. She wrote that her teacher had appointed her to walk all the sick children to the nurse’s office.

“While I Was Sitting Beside My Dead Daughter, People Were Protesting To Drop Mask Mandates”

Talking to various media outlets, Teresa’s parents, Jeff and Nicole Sperry said that she started getting symptoms on 22nd September. Their daughter informed them a week before that she had to walk all the sick students to get treatment.

Nicole told The Virginian-Pilot that if a child was sicker and wanted to go home, it was her daughter’s duty to get the child’s stuff and take it back.

Suffolk Public Schools refused to comment, but a spokeswoman for Suffolk Public Schools, Anthonette Ward said that the rules of the schools state that if a child is feeling sick and showing symptoms of COVID-19, an adult should be accompanying him and not other kids.

Hillpoint Elementary School’s protocol states that any adult or most likely the classroom teacher should contact the office with code C, and a nurse or administrator will come to get the child to the office, said Ward. The case is being investigated.

Writing in her obituary, her parents described that Teresa loved drawing, she was a friend to all and she was a Girl Scout.

Her parents told CNN that her first symptom was a headache followed by fever the next day. She experienced a bad cough by the weekend. She was taken to an emergency room by her mother where she tested for COVID-19.

Her throat strep test came back negative. However, her covid results came back positive. In just a day, she stopped breathing. Her parents took her to a local hospital. Her condition worsened as she was taken to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Norfolk. She succumbed on 27th September.

Her school district has mandated masks but on the day she lost her life, parents were protesting to drop the mandate.

Talking to NBC, Nicole Sperry recalled that when she was sitting next to Teresa’s dead body, there was a board meeting of Chesapeake School where people were saying that the virus doesn’t affect healthy people and the pandemic is over. Nicole wanted these people to know that it is far from over.

Teresa was one of her four siblings. Her parents said that they both are fully vaccinated and so are their older two children. They were planning to get Teresa and her younger brother to get vaccinated as soon as vaccines for kids got approved by the FDA.

Jeff Sperry tested COVID-19 positive when he was planning for Teresa’s funeral, said Nicole Sperry on her Facebook post.

Fatalities and severity of coronavirus are rare in children. However, because of the Delta variant, many children are landing in hospitals. Since the onset of the pandemic, nearly 5.9 children have tested positive, said the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Jeff Sperry recalls her daughter as someone who is always eager to help people. He wasn’t surprised that his daughter took the role of ‘nurse’ assigned to her. She wanted to help people. Nicole wrote that COVID-19 is real and it doesn’t care who it kills.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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