Flagler County dad shares story as 9-year-old battles COVID-19 in hospital

A Flagler County father is sharing his daughter’s story to spread awareness about the impact the coronavirus can have on children.

Tristan Simon tells FOX 35 News that, despite being vaccinated, his 14-year-old daughter contracted the virus and it spread to his entire family.

He said after quarantine and mild symptoms, it appeared life was back to normal until his 9-year-old daughter Makenna ended up in the hospital. 

"You think it’s not gonna be your kid. It can never be your kid, and it can be and now it's mine," he said. 

The girl has been in a Jacksonville hospital for six days, initially dependent on oxygen and doctors have worked to keep her out of the adult ICU. 

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Her dad said Thursday, things took a turn for the better after days of unknowns.

"Today is literally the best day of our lives knowing that she’s made this turn because we didn’t think it was ever gonna come. We were dancing in the hallway," he said.

He hopes sharing his story changes minds about safety measures like mask-wearing, social distancing and letting parents know the virus could catch them off guard.

"My kid was healthy. She takes her vitamins. She’s a normal weight. She’s got no underlying conditions, yet here we are six days with my daughter strapped to a wall not being able to move more than three feet at a time," he said. 

With their life turned upside down, a relative created a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses and alleviate some stress off the family. 

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