COVID restrictions added difficulty to teen girl’s tragic crash, mom says

Around the South

GRAND BAY, Ala. (WKRG) — A 16-year-old student at Alma Bryant High school was critically injured after a car crash in Mississippi last weekend.

Kaylee Carmichael is on life support and family members aren’t sure if she’ll survive. COVID-19 restrictions initially made a family tragedy even worse.

“She’s smart she’s beautiful she’s sweet,” said Kaylee Carmichael’s mother Brittany Carmichael from Grand Bay via Zoom Monday morning. “If anyone could, please pray for my baby.”

Family members say Kaylee was traveling home from Mississippi to Grand Bay when she lost control of her vehicle in the rain and crashed into a tree

“Cars are not toys and you don’t get second chances,” said Brittany Carmichael.

For the first two days, her mom said she was not been able to visit her daughter in-person and the video chats they were having now don’t cut it.

“I’ve heard plenty of stories of people being unresponsive and having family talk to them and she’s never been away from her mother,” said Brittany Carmichael. Kaylee just turned 16 weeks ago. University Hospital’s COVID-19 visitation policy did not allow visitors for patients 16 and over unless they’re going to die.

“I find that even more unfair because I could have been with her this whole time and that means the last days of her life she was scared and alone at a hospital,” said Kaylee’s mother.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe account. In just a few days it has raised more than half of the goal for Kaylee.

Later, an official with USA Health facilities released a statement indicating they revised their visitation policies.

Patients 18 and under will now be allowed up to two visitors, but only one of which will be allowed in a facility at a time.

Statement from USA Health:

“The creation of policies at all USA Health facilities are focused on ensuring our ability to provide the highest quality care in the safest possible environment. The global pandemic has created situations where we have had to revise policies regularly as more information becomes available about COVID-19 and as its spread throughout our community rises and declines. In order to protect the health and well-being of our patients and healthcare delivery team, we continually review these policies based upon the progress our community is making against the pandemic so that we provide our patients with the best possible healing environment. The recent decline in new cases in our region permit us to now allow each of our patients aged 18 and younger at University Hospital and Children’s & Women’s Hospital two designated visitors, of which one may be in the hospital at a time. We will continue to monitor our community’s health and make additional adjustments as circumstances warrant.”

-Gary Mans, USA Health

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