DOH: ‘Extremely rare’ condition claimed Cumberland kindergartner

DOH: ‘Extremely rare’ condition claimed Cumberland kindergartner

Family, friends will celebrate Layla’s life Saturday

CUMBERLAND – The medical condition that suddenly claimed the life of 5-year-old Layla Charette on Sunday was “extremely rare” and attributed to bacterial pneumonia, a state Department of Health spokesman told The Valley Breeze this week.

The DOH’s Joseph Wendelken went on to say it was “not communicable from person to person, and there is no public health threat at the school.”

Wendelken could not immediately say whether there have been similar cases in Rhode Island.

His comments came as Bill and Alaina Charette, of Sun Valley Drive, announced plans for their daughter’s memorial service, described as “family friendly,” at the J.J. Duffy Funeral Home from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Meanwhile, school Supt. Bob Mitchell said the School Department’s crisis team was dispatched to Community Elementary School this week.

“Yes, our community suffered a terrible loss with the sudden passing of Layla Charette, a kindergarten student at Community School,” he said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time.”

Mitchell said the School Department’s crisis team responded to provide support to students, staff and parents, with counselors and other support staff, for all members of the Community School family.

“A loss like this is difficult for anyone but can be particularly difficult for younger students and classmates to understand,” he said.

For this school community, this was the second death of a child from illness in a little more than two years.