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Fairfield teen is battling COVID-19: "She's a fighter"

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-22 14:18:01-04

(UPDATE) Kyona's father shared this update late Friday afternoon:

  • Kyona is improving still with a long road ahead. The Drs never take a negative breath there they are our knights in shinning armor. She was able to tell me she loved me and stuck her tongue out and give cyler and I a thumbs up. Her mask that was forcing oxygen into her lungs is off and that means if she can keep things where the Drs are comfortable she can leave the icu. This deal kinda reminds me of when she was a baby and every small milestone is huge. Her condition is improving no doubt because of all the people pulling on God's ear.
  • Kyona's biggest drive is spreading like a wildfire people all over the world are now involved. Something great has become of this. When this is over we will all have proven the power of prayer and the will of a young lady can do anything. It will be in print and her smile.
  • We are starting to look at what the road to recovery looks like but its still pretty early. Well guy's thanks so much for being in our lives and taking care of us when the chips are down.
  • ******* update she is headed out of the icu****

We will keep you updated on Kyona's continued recovery.



(1st REPORT) The Yeager family’s nightmare started over the weekend when their 14-year old daughter Kyona started showing symptoms.

“She had a high fever and was just overall lethargic,” said her dad Calon. “She was awake, but out of it. Her eyes were closed. So (her mom) Kande and I made the decision to run her into Great Falls to the clinic. But what we we found out Sunday morning that she had the COVID-19.”

Since then, the past six days have been a blur. Kyona was flown from Great Falls to Salt Lake City where she’s in the ICU at Primary Children’s Hospital. She has a high fever, an enlarged liver, enlarged spleen and gall bladder, low blood pressure, failing kidneys, fluid in her lungs, and an irregular heartbeat.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only one parent is allowed to be with Kyona at the hospital. Kande hasn’t left her side, while Calon remains in Fairfield with their youngest son Cyler. Kyona’s parents are in constant contact, and her family receives regular updates from the medical staff.

“Her entire body is swollen, she’s gained 17 pounds of water weight in five days,” Kande wrote in a Facebook post. “Every vein in her body is dilated. Her entire body is jaundiced.”

“It’s just been one thing after the next, with this deal,” Calon told MTN News. “And you know, we get one thing taken care of and then something else is a problem again. At one point they had 14 doctors working on her case, and they have a great care team in place.”

For a virus that disproportionately affects older people, Kyona’s case is rare - and concerning. She’s a healthy teenager with no underlying conditions.

“The way it was explained to me is that she's had a reaction to the COVID-19. And so her body started just completely having a breakdown, I guess, for lack of a better term,” Calon said. “So like some people don’t even know they have COVID, and some have mild symptoms. Kyona kind of hit the lottery on it and got kind of a bad deal.”

Even though she’s still in the midst of her battle, there’s no one who’s better equipped to fight than Kyona. She serves as manager for the Fairfield football and wrestling teams, and she still lights up whenever her mother or nurses mention a return to showing cattle at livestock shows, her biggest passion.“She’s a competitor, she’s a fighter,” Calon said. “She's tough, but tender. She’s hardened in all the right places. And then she's got a little a little sugar here and there.”

The support has poured in from all corners of Montana. Kyona has recently organized food drives in her community - and earlier this week family friend set up a Facebook group called Kyona’s Biggest Drive. While she fights COVID-19, they invite others to stock the shelves of Montana food banks in her name.

“We're sure thankful for all the support from our community and beyond,” Calon said. “We're all fighters here and, and I think Kyona is going to whip this deal and be back as a flower in her community once again.”

Her fight isn’t over - but she has an entire state in her corner. “She has the best possible care in Salt Lake and thousands of people praying for her up here,” Calon said. “Optimism is built in and they're going to get her out of there and then she's going to come home.”