HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK/CNN VAN/AP) Houston police are investigating whether a 13-year-old girl died because of injuries from a fight while walking home from school or a brain tumor that wasn't found until she was hospitalized days later.
Kashala Francis. (CNN VAN photo)
Kashala Francis' mother told KTRK-TV her daughter was punched and kicked in the head during the fight April 18.
She was hospitalized three days later after falling unconscious. Kashala's mother, Mamie Jackson, says that's when doctors discovered the tumor.
Kashala died Wednesday.
Jackson believes the fight contributed to her daughter's death.
Police spokesman Victor Senties says his agency is investigating Kashala's death, but that it's likely her pre-existing medical condition is the reason she ended up in the hospital.
Senties says investigators are awaiting autopsy results "to see what path the investigation is going to take."
Jackson says when her daughter returned home following the fight, she had a bruise on her face, but insisted she was OK.
By Saturday, Jackson says Kashala was at a family member's house and her niece said she appeared to get delusional at one point, but things got back to normal.
Sunday, Kashala became weak and complained to her mother over the phone of a painful headache.
"I drove over and I told her get up. I said 'Get up, Kashala.'
She kept saying, 'Mama, my head hurt,' so she laid down," Jackson said.
That was the last time she saw her daughter's eyes opened.
Jackson says by the time first responders arrived she was unconscious.
They took her to Texas Children's Hospital, where doctors discovered what Jackson said was a large tumor in the back of her head and fluid buildup in her brain.
"So if she had a tumor in her head that we (didn’t know) about and somebody repeatedly stomps and kick and punch you in your head…you’re not even fightin' back...is it gonna be better or is it gonna be worse,” Jackson said.