MIAMI – Victims of the novel coronavirus continue getting younger and younger.
Eight days into July and already more than 50 people have died from COVID-19 in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Of those deaths, 13 were younger than 60 years old.
Shaquana Miller Garrett was only 35 years old.
Miller, a married mother to two little girls, worked as a registrar, taking patient information at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, according to her brother Curtis.
"When the people come into the hospital, they had her at the front desk," he said. "So she received the people."
Miller was a diabetic, considered high-risk. Within days of her diagnosis, she needed to be hospitalized.
She died on July 2nd.
"She was 35 years old and she left a husband and a three-year-old and a four-year-old daughter here," Curtis said.
But the Miller family has barely had time to grieve because her 3-year-old daughter Kennedy is also now positive for COVID-19, fighting a fever.
“My niece is three years old. She doesn’t have an underlying illness. She’s three,” Curtis said.
Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Aileen Marty with the FIU College of Medicine said the loss of hospital workers like miller is another complication as healthcare systems are inundated.
“We are starting to have more of our healthcare workers being affected and that creates a double crisis.,” she said. “Meanwhile, we don’t have an increase in people who are trained and ready to treat these people.”
Curtis said he wants people how this can affect just one family, and how simply following the rules could protect someone’s life.
“I think that people need to stop trying to put things in categories to make them feel and people do what they want to do,” he said.