Jasmine Sky Vincent died of pneumonia about two weeks after developing a sore throat and mild cough.
| Sun Journal staff |
If there’s a lesson to be learned from the death of a 15-year-old girl, Lyndsey Sutherland said, it’s to never pass up a chance to spend time with a child.
Sutherland said she and her daughter Jasmine Sky Vincent, known as Jazzy, spent hours together every day at home in New Gloucester or on outings, but other mothers have told her they are taking that lesson to heart with their children since Jasmine died on Aug. 1.
Jasmine’s death came out of the blue. She had always been healthy, her mother said, but developed a mild cough and sore throat in mid-July.
Visits to doctors and a clinic failed to pinpoint the cause, she said.
It wasn’t until a few hours before she died that doctors ordered a chest X-ray and found fluid around Jasmine’s heart, Sutherland said, indicating she had pneumonia.
Doctors inserted a chest tube and tried other procedures before Jasmine passed away in her hospital room around 3 a.m. Aug. 1, Sutherland said. Because doctors needed to keep the room sterile, Sutherland said, she was unable to be with her daughter when she died.
That was particularly hard, Sutherland said, because Jasmine “wasn’t just my kid, she was my best friend.”
To say Jasmine was an active girl is an understatement. She was in several cheerleading groups, including at Gray-New Gloucester High School, where she would have been a sophomore this fall. She also took part in gymnastics, dance and roller-skating, her mother said, and “downtime” meant a trip to the beach with her sisters or friends.
That’s why the cough and sore throat didn’t slow her down, Sutherland said, although her mother made her take time to see doctors about it. The pandemic made the appointments more complicated to arrange than they might have been, she said, and doctors initially thought Jasmine might have COVID.
After she got sicker on July 31, Jasmine was admitted to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick and then transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where doctors ordered a chest X-ray and discovered the pneumonia.
Doctors initially thought the diagnosis would lead to an effective treatment, Sutherland said.
“They put the chest tube in and told us we could go home in a couple of days,” Sutherland said. Instead, “she passed away at Maine Med about six hours after getting there. She went through so much on the last night of her life.”
Sutherland said she knew her daughter had touched many lives, but it was confirmed when an aunt set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses. The goal was $10,000 and by Friday, the total had hit nearly $14,000 pledged by more than 200 donors.
“It wasn’t the amount of money, it was just to see that that many people were touched by her life,” Sutherland said. “That means more than any money in the world.”
Jasmine “just loved life so much,” her mother said.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday August 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at LifeChurch at 8 Elkins Road in Gorham.