A 10-year-old boy passed away on Wednesday after a two-week battle with COVID-19 and complications from the virus.
Zyrin Foots, a 10-year-old boy from Texas, developed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) after contracting COVID-19. A rare condition, MIS-C causes inflammation in children’s organs, including the heart, and the inability of Foots’ heart to pump blood caused him to develop gangrene in his legs.
Gangrene causes body tissue to die and can be fatal if left untreated, and the treatment can result in the loss of a body part. Ashley Engmann, Foots’ aunt, told KTRK-TV that doctors gave her sister, Foots’ mother, a choice. She could amputate his arms and legs, which would give him a 25 percent chance of survival. Without the amputation, Engmann said the 10-year-old didn’t have “any chance to live.”
Foots’ mom made the difficult decision to “let him go,” according to Engmann, because she saw it as the most “humane and compassionate thing she can do for her child.”
The 10-year-old boy was put on life support on September 30, according to a GoFundMe page Engmann set up to help with funeral expenses.
COVID-19 is known to impact older people more than children, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned parents that kids are still at risk, especially if they have comorbidity. Emergency Use Authorizations for vaccines only apply to children who are at least 12 years old, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering authorizing them for kids between 5 and 11 years old.
While older people are still more susceptible to the virus than younger people, data from the American Academy of Pediatrics found cases among children peaked in September. An estimated 1 million new cases were reported in September, about one-sixth of America’s total cases involving children.
COVID-19 deaths among children are still extremely rare and deaths among children under 12 years old account for less than 1 percent of all COVID cases since the pandemic began, according to the CDC.
Vaccines for children under the age of 12 could be rolled out within the next few weeks and the federal government has urged states to prepare for the additional inoculations. However, whether parents will make the move to get their child vaccinated has yet to be seen.
A recent poll from CBS News and YouGov found 37 percent of parents would get their kids inoculated. Nearly the same amount said they wouldn’t and 26 percent were undecided about what was best for their child.
Vaccinated parents were more likely than unvaccinated parents to express the desire that their child get the COVID-19 shot.
At a Chesapeake Public Schools’ board meeting in Virginia on Monday, Nicole Sperry warned people not to get complacent with public health measures. Her 10-year-old daughter recently died of COVID-19 and she told attendees that “COVID is not over” and we need to do “everything that we can to protect our children.”