Life support

Mother of Zyrin Foots, 10, who is on life support with COVID-19, forced to make tough decision

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – A woman is forced to make one of the toughest decisions a mother can have as her 10-year-old son battles COVID-19.

Zyrin Foots was admitted to hospital on September 30 and his body gradually died out, according to his aunt, Ashley Engmann.

RELATED: Boy Dies of COVID Is First Pediatric Virus Death in Houston Without Underlying Health Problems

Engmann said doctors gave his nephew’s mother two options.

“They left the choice to my sister: amputate his legs and arms or let him go,” Engmann said. “Without the amputation, he has no chance of living. With it, he has a 25% chance.”

Foots is a middle school student in Huntsville where his family believe he contracted the virus.

According to Huntsville ISD COVID-19 Dashboard, the district has four active cases.

In addition to a student, three staff members also have the virus.

Engmann said doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital told them Zyrin’s disease was one of the worst cases they had seen.

“He coded. They made cuts and brought him back,” Engmann said. “Three hours later, they picked him up and transferred him, and had open heart surgery. It’s been an improvement since then.”

According to Engmann, his nephew contracted respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. She said Zyrin was also suffering from a rare but fatal complication of COVID-19 known as MIS-C. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children causes inflammation in different parts of the body, including the heart.

“Because his heart couldn’t pump blood, he developed gangrene in his legs,” Engmann said.

His mother faces one of the most difficult decisions as a parent and has chosen not to let her son suffer anymore.

“She’s going to let him go eventually because it’s the most human and compassionate thing she can do for her child,” Engmann said.

The family has created a GoFundMe account for funeral expenses.

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SEE ALSO: More than 140,000 American children have lost caregivers during pandemic, new CDC study finds

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