Twin Baby Girl Whose 'Smile Lit Up The Room' Dies of COVID Complications

An infant in Missouri, one of twin sisters, has died as a result of complications arising from a COVID-19 infection.

Amelia Peyton from Iberia, Miller County, died in early February at University Hospital. Amelia's twin sister, Claire, also tested positive for the virus, but she has recovered, said her father Brian Peyton, as reported by KOMU 8.

The 9-month-old girl is the first infant to die as a result of COVID-19 in the Miller County region of the state.

According to Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services dashboard three children between 0 and 4 years of age have died as a result of the virus in the state, with two further probable deaths in this age range also recorded by the state.

Amelia's parents took their daughter to Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach on January 16, when she tested positive for COVID-19 as she was suffering from a swollen neck and fever.

Upon arriving at the hospital, NBC News reported that the infant was placed on a ventilator and was then immediately transferred to University Hospital in Columbia.

She remained on the ventilator until she passed away on February 1.

Her parents say that on this day Amelia's doctors performed surgery on Amelia to stop bleeding in her esophagus. During the procedure, her blood pressure started to drop, which her attending doctors managed to stabilize.

An hour after telling her parents that Amelia was stable, her doctor returned to tell them that she had passed away. The 9-month-old's mother, Hayley Caples, told KOMU 8: "We really thought she was gonna make it."

Amelia's aunt Andrea Peyton has set up a Go Fund Me to help support her brother and his family following the loss of Amelia and to help pay for funeral expenses. The appeal has raised just over $7,000 of its $10,000 goal.

According to the Department of Health and Senior Services dashboard of over 1.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Missouri, just over 33,000 have involved children under five years of age. In the 5 to 9-year-old age group, confirmed case rise to almost 38,000, rising again in the 10 to 14 age group to over 52,000 confirmed cases.

Newsweek previously reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently awaiting emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to roll out 10 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine specially formulated for the under-fives.

The vaccine will be given to children aged between six months and four years of age. The vaccine was approved for children five and older in November 2021.

Brian Peyton paid tribute to his daughter, telling the local news station: "She was just always smiling and friendly with everybody. She was just so eager and ready to go explore. She was our sunshine baby."

Amelia's mother, Hayley Caples added: "Her smile lit up the room. Her eyes were just bright. She just loved everybody. I took pictures and videos of her every day of her life, and I'm so glad."

Baby Hospital
A stock image of an infant in a hospital. A 9-month-old twin from Missouri died as the result of a COVID infection. praisaeng/GETTY