It is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to report that nine-year-old Kathleen Edward died of Huntington’s disease on Wednesday night. We discussed Kathleen’s illness as part of a horrific case about bullying by a neighbor, Jennifer Petkov.
<img Petkov mocked the illness of the little girl and the death of her mother who died of Huntington's disease at 24. Kathleen was diagnosed with the disease at 3. Petkov superimposed a skull and crossbones over a photo of Kathleen and posted it on the Internet. She also posted pictures showing Kathleen’s mother (Laura Edwards) in the arms of the grim reaper and photoshopped a picture of Kathleen with her face above a set of crossed bones. She was also accused of attaching a coffin to her truck (that she named the ”Death Machine”) and driving it down the street honking the horn and parking it in front of the girl's house.
Kathleen died after a long bout with pneumonia — a common end for Huntington’s patients.
The unspeakable abuse by Petkov made this girl’s tragic life all the harder in the short time that she was on this Earth. Fortunately, neighbors and strangers rallied around Kathleen and many were inspired by her cheerful nature and her strength for such a little girl. Rest in peace, Kathleen.