GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The family of 15-year-old Kaci Loux is remembering her silly and sweet personality.
She loved music and movies, and she was always taking selfies with her cat named Angel. She also enjoyed spending time with her mom, dad and two younger sisters.
"I’m still having a hard time on believing what happened, it feels like she’s just going to walk through the door and I’m going to see her but I know that’s not the case," said Shilynne Loux, the teen's mom.
Shilynne Loux confirmed to Denver7 that her daughter is the first reported COVID-19 related pediatric death in Mesa County. The county previously sent out a release stating a female Mesa County resident age 10-19 died after testing positive for the delta variant.
According to Mesa County Public Heath, she was hospitalized before her age group was eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"As we mourn this loss, we also take this opportunity to urgently plead with each member of our community to consider the proven methods to protect yourself and those you love from COVID-19, including vaccination and social distancing precautions," said Jeff Kuhr, executive director of MCPH.
Loux said her youngest daughter tested positive for COVID-19 back in April, and it swept through the entire family. She said her husband and middle child had no symptoms.
"The way it all went down, it’s too fast to grasp," Shilynne Loux said.
She said Kaci Loux started running a high fever, and by the time she took her to the doctor, her condition was so bad that she was airlifted from Grand Junction to Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora. She said her daughter remained in the ICU for more than three weeks, and she believed her health was improving.
"I thought everything was good and dandy. She was good, she was talking," Shilynne Loux said. "Then they were getting ready to put her into recovery, and then, everything just went to hell, pretty much."
Shilynne Loux received a phone call from the hospital and would later learn her daughter went into cardiac arrest. She died on May 22, 2021.
"I miss her to the moon and back every day and every night," said Wade Loux, her dad.
Cases of the delta variant are skyrocketing in several states, including Colorado, and Mesa County is being called a hot spot with the most cases in the state. The variant is believed to be more transmissible.
As it continues to spread, health experts are warning about the risk to children who remain unvaccinated or are too young to receive the vaccine.
"It’s not a game," Shilynne Loux said. "Just be more cautious."