"To our knowledge, he had no underlying health conditions."
A teenager with no apparent underlying health conditions has died having picked up Coronavirus.
Thirteen-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton, South London, started showing symptoms and had trouble breathing on March 26, 2020, so he was rushed to hospital.
After being taken to King’s College Hospital, Ismail tested positive for the virus the next day.
He was put on a ventilator and then into an induced coma, however, he died in the early hours of March 30.
Sadly, his family could not be with him when he died.
Through a friend, the family released a statement:
“Ismail started showing symptoms and had difficulties breathing and was admitted to King’s College Hospital.
“He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma but sadly died yesterday morning. To our knowledge, he had no underlying health conditions. We are beyond devastated.”
The family are now awaiting the results of a post-mortem.
A spokesperson for King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.
“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”
Citizen Khan actor Adil Ray paid tribute to the teenager.
My deepest condolences to the family of 13 yr old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab from Brixton. It’s just unthinkable to imagine your son dying alone like he did. No u/l conditions. The greatest tribute we can pay is allowing him to be our heroic saviour by protecting others. #COVID19
— Adil Ray OBE (@adilray) March 31, 2020
Ismail’s death has highlighted the reality that Coronavirus can affect any age.
It is more susceptible in the elderly and most fatalities are those who have underlying health conditions but it shows that the young and healthy are not immune to it.
Dr Simon Clarke, of the University of Reading, said:
“While the old are much more likely to die from coronavirus infection, the young are certainly not immune from it.”
“This is a reminder that we must take the advice of health officials seriously to stay at home, wash hands, and keep well away from all other people.
“The message so far has seemed to be that by following the guidance, you might save the life of a cherished parent or grandparent. This case could yet remind us that staying home could also save the life of a cherished child or grandchild too.”
Dr Nathalie MacDermott, of King’s College London, said:
“It is very sad to hear of the death of a 13-year-old infected with COVID-19.
“While we know it is much less likely for children to suffer severe COVID-19 infection than older adults, this case highlights the importance of us all taking the precautions we can to reduce the spread of infection in the UK and worldwide.
“It is essential that we undertake research to determine why a proportion of deaths occur outside of the groups expected to succumb to infection as it may indicate an underlying genetic susceptibility of how the immune system interacts with the virus.
“Determining if this is the case could help us to learn more about the interaction of the virus with the immune system and subsequently what further treatments may be suitable in patients with severe infection.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for funeral costs.
The appeal aimed to reach £4,000 but it has currently raised more than £56,000.