Texas boy, 10, dies from COVID-19 complications

Zyrin Foots' aunt told Houston media that because his heart couldn’t pump blood, the child developed gangrene in his legs.

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A 10-year-old Houston boy who battled COVID-19 for more than two weeks died Thursday of complications from the virus. 

The family of Zyrin Foots had to make the heart-wrenching decision to remove the boy from life support after he suffered respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV for short, as well as MIS-C, which is multisystem inflammatory syndrome. 

Zyrin Foots, a 10-year-old Texas child who battled COVID-19 for more than two weeks, died Wednesday of complications from it. (Photo: GoFundMe.com)

The child’s aunt, Ashley Engmann, told ABC 7 that because Foots’ heart couldn’t pump blood, he also developed gangrene in his legs.

“They gave my sister a choice: to amputate his legs and arms or let him go,” Engmann said Wednesday. “Without the amputation, he doesn’t have any chance to live. With it, he has a 25% chance.”

Doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital told the family that Foots’ case was one of the worst cases of COVID-19 they had seen. 

He was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 30 with severe symptoms of the virus, and his body progressively shut down, leading to his death this week. 

Engmann said that her sister, Amber, took Foots off life support “because that’s the most humane and compassionate thing she can do for her child.”

In a GoFundMe fundraiser to help the family pay for final expenses, Foots’ aunt wrote that her sister “was in an accident 8 years ago. She was hit by a truck when she was 6 months pregnant, lost her 3rd son, Zekiah, and nearly died. She was in a coma for 4 months and took a couple of years to recover. Zyrin is her eldest son. Her second son, Zaiden is the only one left.” 

She noted that her sister is permanently disabled. 

The reserve had raised more than $26,000 as of Friday morning. 

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a rare complication of COVID-19 that can occur in children. The disorder causes inflammation in different parts of the body and can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that while MIS-C can be serious or even fatal, some children can recover with medical care.

“Based on what we know now about MIS-C,” advises the CDC, “the best way you can protect your child is by taking everyday actions to prevent your child and the entire household from getting the virus that causes COVID-19.”

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