Family holds vigil for West Memphis 11-year-old who died from COVID-19

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Friends and family held a candlelight vigil Friday night for Jordyn Franklin, an 11-year-old who died from COVID-19.

The event was held at Jackson-Wonder Elementary, where she went to school. The crowd released balloons into the air to honor her.

“She was the sweetest thing you ever talked to in your life and the most intelligent 11-year-old you ever talked to,” uncle Brandon Clark said. “Talking to her would be like talking to an older adult with a masters degree. That’s how smart she was.”

The large gathering included several public officials. West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon was among them.

“Our city lost a true angel, Ms. Jordyn, and it’s hurting our whole community, and I feel the pain of our community,” Mayor McClendon said, “I wanted to come and show my support.”

Jordyn got sick over the weekend and was hospitalized in West Memphis Monday when her condition quickly worsened.

“It went downhill real fast,” Clark said.

Medical professionals tried to fly her to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.

“But the doctor said she didn’t have long enough to make it to Le Bonheur,” Clark said.

Jordyn suffered from type two diabetes and was one year too young to get the vaccine.

“It’s serious. It’s very serious, very serious,” her father Ricky said, “I mean, with her having health conditions already it was so quick. I mean, within two hours, within two hours my baby was gone.”

Family members hope this tragedy will inspire people to take every precaution to safeguard against the virus.

More and more children across the Mid-South are getting COVID-19. Roughly a quarter of current, local cases are children 17 or younger.

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