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Kalamazoo high schooler dies from COVID-19 after showing signs of improvement

Posted at 9:45 PM, Jan 14, 2022

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A West Michigan mom is grieving the loss of her daughter.

The Kalamazoo Central senior died this week after a months-long battle with COVID-19.

Omeka Bradford says her daughter was making progress in getting better after a lengthy battle with the virus.

She was getting ready for her first in-person visit this week when she got the earth-shattering news.

"All I heard was Taigan died. That's all I remember them saying and they pushed me away," Omeka said.

All Omeka has left of her little girl are memories and these senior photos.

"It's where we are, my pretty girl; silly, funny, loud laugh, my baby is gone," Omeka said.

Omeka says 17-year-old Taigan lost her two-month battle with COVID-19 Wednesday.

"On January 11th, she was negative and we would get to go in. It was about 6:30 was my next FaceTime. They called and said, 'Doctors are in there; we can't FaceTime, but we will call you back.'"

Omeka was heartbroken after believing Taigan was improving.

"It was FaceTime, she told me, 'I love you'. She couldn't say it, but I read her lips," Omeka said.

Taigan, a Kalamazoo Central senior, was months away from walking across the stage to get her diploma.

"She took dance class last year and now she's nonstop-dancing now," she said.

Omeka tells FOX 17 she believes her daughter caught the virus at school.

"COVID, she hasn't been around just at school, the bus stop, you know, catching the bus," Omeka said. "She went to school, got the bus. She didn't deal with a lot of people."

Kalamazoo Public Schools, like many districts in Michigan, continue to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks.

According to the KPS COVID-19 dashboard they saw 196 new student cases this week alone.

Omeka is sharing this message with the community when it comes to this pandemic.

"Get checked out. I don't care what you feel, any kind of, whatever, runny nose, ear hurt, you'll get checked out," she said.

FOX 17 did reach out to Kalamazoo Public Schools for comment on this loss and is waiting to hear back.

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