34-year-old woman dies of COVID-19 complications

Chad Frey
The Kansan
April Dawn (Wiebe) Wheeler

A 34-year-old woman from Whitewater — a small town on the Butler/Harvey County line — has died of COVID-19. 

She is not the youngest victim of the disease in the two counties — the Harvey County Health Department reports one death of a teenager among the 27 on the county dashboard — but she is part of an age group that makes up only 1.2% of deaths statewide, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

According to KDHE, the hardest-hit age group in the state is those older than 75, with 68.1% of the 2,879 deaths recorded statewide in people over the age of 75.  

April Wheeler was born in April 1986. According to her obituary, as she grew up she attended Awana and loved Bible memorization. She graduated from Frederic Remington High School in rural Whitewater as part of the class of 2004 before attending Butler Community College for two years.

She married Bryan Patrick Wheeler on July 4, 2013, in Whitewater. 

She died Dec. 31 at the age of 24 of "COVID-19 Pneumonia."

According to the Butler County COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 23 fatalities from COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began in March. There have also been 3,139 recoveries. Butler County reported 417 active cases on Jan. 4. In Harvey County there have been 2,143 recoveries, with 263 active cases as of Jan. 4.

Testing in Harvey County is available through medical providers, including Harvey Drug, 115 W. Fifth St., Newton, and a free testing site at the Chisholm Trail Retail and Outlet Shops, 601 S.E. 36th. Online registration is suggested by visiting gogettested.com. Butler County residents can get tested at the Harvey County site.  

Testing by the Butler County Health Department was scheduled to end Wednesday, Jan. 6. Testing is available through Xpress Wellness in Andover, Augusta Family Practice and Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital.