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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Abbi Watson-Freestad

Abbi Watson-Freestad died of complications tied to COVID-19. The 15-year-old Cheney girl was the first child to die of the disease in Spokane County.  (courtesy of family)
By Shawn Vestal The Spokesman-Review

Like so many teenagers, Abbi Watson-Freestad struggled with the limitations of the pandemic. A student at Cheney High School, she had played volleyball on the freshman team – but the sport was put on hold last year, along with in-person classes and other activities.

For an outgoing and “very spunky” teenager, who liked to change her hair color regularly and post frequently to social media, the limitations of the pandemic were difficult, her loved ones said at her memorial.

“She was a very spunky kid,” said her uncle, Noah Bleam. “But she always had a smile on her face and she could care less about her own problems. She was always more worried about everyone else.”

Abbi suffered from serious health problems – asthma and allergies. She was hospitalized in November with intense chest pain, and was diagnosed with COVID-19.

She died Nov. 20, recorded by the Spokane Regional Health District as the first COVID-19-related death by a teenager, of which there are now two. She was two weeks shy of her 16th birthday.