3-Year-Old Oklahoma Girl Struggles To Breathe Battling COVID-19

Friday, August 20th 2021, 6:10 pm
By: Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Tulsa ER nurse shared video of her three-year-old daughter struggling to breathe because of COVID-19, and the video has been shared around the world, illustrating the severity of the disease even in the youngest patients.

Amelia Cannon said Friday she wanted people to see the reality of how COVID-19 is affecting children. Her own daughter was healthy until two weeks ago, but three-year-old Aurora got sick the same day as her mom, who had been working with COVID-19 patients at the hospital.

Cannon said she’s angry over the situation and feels some guilt over her work being the path that brought the illness home. Her daughter is too young to be vaccinated.

“Maybe if more people would get the vaccine, I wouldn't have the exposure that caused me to bring this to my daughter,” she said.

After nine days in the hospital, Aurora is on a machine forcing oxygen into her lungs, what her family described as being one step below a ventilator. Friday she was showing some signs of improvement, but under sedation. Wednesday, after her vital signs were unstable, the medical team used a vest that shakes her body to loosen up mucus in her lungs, while forcing oxygen into her.

“I hope no one ever has to lock eyes with their baby and see their fear as they are fighting to breathe,” said Amelia Cannon. “This is the hardest thing we have ever gone through.”

The video of that, with a notable look of fear on Aurora’s face, generated a lot of sympathetic reaction online.

“We wanted to show people this is what can happen. We hear the stories, and you sometimes see things, but it's mostly adults, but when you see a three-year-old struggling to breathe, there's got to be something in your heart that tells you what can I do to help," Cannon said.

The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis has eight pediatric patients with COVID, and three in the ICU. They have 204 other patients with COVID-19.

With Aurora still struggling, her mom said she is frustrated more people aren't taking the vaccine, or wearing masks, or doing much to avoid spreading COVID. She's seen what can happen, up close.

“I also wish I didn't have the knowledge that I have,” said Cannon, “because it's really hard seeing what I've seen for the last 18 months and now seeing my daughter go through it, and see her get worse and knowing what comes next, so sometimes I wish I was completely clueless so I didn't know what could happen."

There's been an outpouring of emotional, and financial, support for the family as their story has spread. You can click here for the GoFundMe.