Texas boy, 9, dies from COVID-19 complications, family says

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A Texas family is grieving the loss of their son who they said died less than 24 hours after testing positive for coronavirus. The Vernon family said their son, J.J., 9, had asthma, autism and ADHD, but had been his “happy, hyper and loving self,” on Jan. 24, CBS DFW reported.

But early the next morning, his father told the news outlet that he could hear J.J. wheezing, and suspected it was croup. Several hours later, the boy allegedly was screaming for help from his mother because he couldn’t breathe.

He was rushed to the local hospital and then flown via medical helicopter to Cook Children’s Medical Center, where the family learned he was positive for COVID-19. The next day, he died, CBS DFW reported.


“You don’t know how to live life anymore because everything’s just literally changed,” Jason Boatman, the boy’s father, told CBS DFW. “Everything has literally just changed when your baby boy is not ever coming back.”

The boy’s school, Central Elementary in Vernon, was shut down last Tuesday and all students and staff were instructed to quarantine until Feb. 1, Fox4News.com reported. The district said the school would be disinfected and that grief counselors would be made available upon students’ return.

According to a GoFundMe page set up on the family’s behalf, in addition to his parents, J.J. is survived by two older sisters.

Texas has seen 13 deaths in children ages 9 and under due to COVID-19, according to state data. Overall, the state has seen nearly 36,000 fatalities since the pandemic began. The vast majority have involved people 80 years and older.

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