Dakota Nenke (pictured) tragically died with Covid-19
The heartbroken parents of a 13-month-old girl who became the youngest Australian to die with Covid-19 said their ‘little angel’ and her twin sister had only just started walking when she passed away.
Dakota Nenke’s father Ryan Nenke, 29, and mother Karly Conry, 27, had no idea their little girl had coronavirus when they put her down to sleep at their home in North Haven, north-west Adelaide, on December 27.
Mr Nenke told Daily Mail Australia her body temperature was hotter than usual, but otherwise there was ‘nothing out of the ordinary’.
‘We gave her Panadol two times that day she had her normal naps and was playing with her siblings in the afternoon and went to sleep,’ he said.
The following morning, Dakota was gone.
Dakota’s parents were shocked when doctors told them the toddler tested positive to Covid.
Aside from that, she had no underlying conditions and her cause of death is yet to be determined.
‘The whole family tested positive to Covid after that,’ he said, adding that they are all fully vaccinated.
He and Ms Conry were very worried about Dakota’s twin sister Hallie and spent a day with her in hospital after her sister’s tragic death.
Ryan Nenke and Karly Conry are pictured with their children Kylan, four, Ella, six, and twins Hallie and Dakota, one
Dakota (pictured) and her twin sister Hallie celebrated their first birthdays in December. Hallie also tested positive to Covid-19 but has fully recovered
‘She’s back to herself now, and we’re all fine,’ he said.
Mr Nenke remembered Dakota as a ‘happy’ little girl with a ‘bubbly personality’.
‘Dakota had just started walking,’ he said.
‘She loved her big brother Kaylan, big sister Ella, and her twin sister Hallie so much already.’
While Dakota’s older siblings are devastated, Mr Nenke thanked family and friends for dropping by with food, toys and activities to keep them distracted.
Brooke Page, a family friend, set up a Go Fund Me to ensure Mr Nenke and Ms Conry don’t have to worry about money while they grieve.
‘Those who know Karly and Ryan know their children are their life and have always been patient, loving, attentive and admirable parents,’ the fundraiser read.
Pictured, left to right: Ella, six, Karly Conry, Ryan Nenke, Kylan, four, Dakota and her twin sister Hallie
‘Their darling 13-month-old Dakota grew her wings and went to heaven.
‘The devastation they are feeling is unbearable.’
Page said the funds would be used to pay for living expenses and help Mr Nenke and Ms Conry feel comfortable while they organise the funeral.
Friends and family flooded the fundraiser with heartfelt messages for ‘Dakota Bear’ and her loved ones.
‘Sending all my love to my family,’ her grandmother wrote.
‘Dakota will always be in our hearts and forever missed. She is now being looked after by our other angels.’
Dakota Nenke (pictured), from South Australia, passed away hours after going to bed on December 28
Another wrote: ‘My heart just breaks.’
Someone else said: ‘We are so deeply sorry to hear about your dear little Dakota such unimaginable shock sadness and grief we are thinking of you all and sending love.’
The fundraiser reached more than $27,000 within the first 24 hours.
South Australia recorded 3246 new Covid cases on Tuesday – up from 2552 on Monday.
There are 102 people in hospital, 12 of whom are in ICU. One person is on a ventilator.
South Australia recorded 3246 new Covid cases on Tuesday – up from 2552 on Monday. Pictured: A health care worker doing Covid tests in Adelaide
On December 30, two days after Dakota’s death, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced a child under two had passed away with Covid.
He said an investigation is underway to determine the cause of death.
‘This child was Covid-positive but the cause of death hasn’t been determined yet,’ Mr Marshall told reporters.
‘We’ll need to do that investigation, but very sad news that a child under the age of two has passed away.
‘That has now been referred to the coroner.’
Prior to Dakota’s death, the youngest known Australian to die with the virus was a 10-year-old from Victoria in November.