PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – A Pensacola family is grieving after a 15-year-old girl with COVID-19 died at a local hospital.

Victoria Ramirez was a sophomore at Booker T. Washington High School.

Victoria Ramirez

“She was so beautiful and so smart,” Hector Ramirez said.

Victoria tested positive for COVID-19 almost two weeks ago. She had a fever and body aches. Later she was sent home from the hospital, but then her dad, Hector, had to take her back.  

“Within four or five days, her breathing started getting worse and worse,” he said.

Doctors told Hector she had COVID pneumonia. Just after she started to get better, she stopped breathing. Hector had to leave the room while they tried to resuscitate her.  

“About 15, 20 minutes later, they couldn’t bring her back,” Hector said as he held back tears.

Hector says now he’s thinking of getting vaccinated. He didn’t get the shot for his daughter, and he feels some regret about it.

“It’s something that’s going to be stuck with me for my whole life, thinking maybe I should have done that sooner,” he said. “Maybe I could’ve done something to help prevent this.”

He says Victoria was a healthy girl, and that changed quickly. He wishes more people, especially parents, would take COVID-19 seriously.

“I don’t want any other parent to go through what I did — seeing my daughter perfectly healthy one day then following a week and a half, she’s gone,” he said.

In Escambia County, over the past week, we’ve seen fewer people hospitalized with COVID-19 each day. There are 288 right now, down from 396 last month, but eight of those hospitalizations are under the age of 18.

Hector has started a GoFundMe to pay for his daughter’s funeral. So far, more than $4,700 has been raised.