The nurse mom of a 13-year-old boy who died from COVID-19 after a coughing fit has released graphic photos of his blood spattered over a hospital wall as she urges Americans to take the pandemic seriously.
Peyton Baumgarth, who had asthma and a thyroid problem, died from
Peyton’s devastated mom Stephanie Franek, a 44-year-old nurse and mom-of-two, had taken him to a Missouri hospital just two days earlier after his condition suddenly deteriorated, as his nailbeds turned blue and he struggled to talk easily.
He then suffered a severe coughing fit in the ICU at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St Louis and died as doctors were unable to increase his blood oxygen levels.
Franek has released the harrowing images showing the aftermath of her son’s final moments to serve as a reminder that children can also die from the virus.
The 13-year-old’s tragic death came just six weeks before his aunt – who was also a nurse – died from the deadly virus.
Graphic photos show the blood of a 13-year-old Missouri boy spattered over hospital walls after he died from COVID-19 complications just six days after showing symptoms
Peyton’s distraught mom told
Franek said Peyton’s symptoms didn’t seem life-threatening and that they just spent their time in quarantine watching Netflix together.
But on October 29, she said she noticed her son take a turn for the worse.
Peyton’s fingernail and toenail beds turned blue and he struggled to hold a conversation, she said.
The concerned mom took her son to hospital that day where doctors discovered his oxygen saturation levels had fallen to 44 percent – less than half the level of a healthy person.
Franek said she was shocked by this as, as a nurse, ‘I have never seen someone walking and talking with an oxygen saturation level of just 44 per cent’.
Within an hour, Peyton was put on a ventilator and he was given extracorporeal membrane oxygenation – a treatment that replaces the function of the person’s own lungs by pumping blood to an artificial lung that adds oxygen and takes out carbon dioxide.
Franek told the outlet she still thought ‘we’ll get over this hump and bring him home.’
But two days later on October 31, Peyton deteriorated rapidly and started having a coughing fit and haemorrhaging in his chest.
Peyton Baumgarth, who had asthma and a thyroid problem, died on October 31 when he suffered a severe coughing fit in the ICU at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, St Louis
Peyton’s devastated mom Stephanie Franek, 44, had taken him to hospital just two days earlier after his condition suddenly deteriorated, as his nailbeds turned blue and he struggled to talk easily
The 13-year-old’s tragic death (right with his mom) came just six weeks before his aunt also died from the deadly virus
‘He had this big coughing fit and he basically started to hemorrhage in his chest,’ she said.
Doctors performed CPR and tried to replace the ECMO tubes in his neck to increase his oxygen levels, which caused the blood that had pooled in his chest to spray all over the surgeons and the hospital walls, his mom said.
‘It was all over the cardiothoracic surgeon and he just kept working,’ she said.
A team of 10 nurses and four doctors desperately tried to save him but they couldn’t and Franek watched as her son died.
Franek was then dealt another blow six weeks later when her sister died on December 7 from COVID-19.
Cyndi Crawford, a 57-year-old trauma nurse, had contracted the virus the week before Thanksgiving and was also put on a ventilator and given ECMO before she died.
‘One loss would have been heartbreaking alone but these two have completely shattered our hearts,’ Franek said.
Peyton lying in hospital. On October 31, Peyton deteriorated rapidly and started having a coughing fit and haemorrhaging in his chest
Franek has released the images showing the aftermath of her son’s final moments as she begged people to take the pandemic seriously
She said she wants to share her son’s story to warn people to take the virus seriously as she said her family had been ‘so very careful’ during the pandemic but still got sick
Franek said she was shocked that her son died from COVID-19 as it is typically not as deadly to children.
‘Never did I ever think this was going to happen,’ she said.
‘You don’t hear about kids getting Covid and it being that serious. I was just in shock.
‘I can’t describe that sudden devastating loss.’
Franek said she wants to share her son’s story to warn people to take the virus seriously and not see COVID-19 as a ‘political’ thing.
‘I hope people will take Covid more seriously and not say it is a political agenda or some type of fakes news or that it is the same as the flu,’ she said.
She said her family had been ‘so very careful’ during the pandemic but still got sick.
‘We were so very careful. If we ever went anywhere, we always wore masks and we always washed our hands and used hand sanitizer and we still got Covid,’ she warned.
Peyton’s distraught mom told The Sun she tested positive for the virus on October 25 and both she and her son started showing mild symptoms. On October 29, she took him to hospital as his nailbeds turned blue
Doctors discovered his oxygen saturation levels had fallen to 44 percent – less than half the level of a healthy person
Franek told the outlet she still thought ‘we’ll get over this hump and bring him home.’ But two days later on October 31, Peyton died
She said that while ‘every day is a struggle to get out of bed’ she has found some comfort in reuniting with her ex Chris Lottmann who ‘was very close with Peyton’.
Franek paid tribute to her son describing him as ‘the sweetest boy’ who ‘made everyone smile’.
A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that one million children had been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of November 12, making up 11.5 percent of all cases in the US at the time.
At that point, 133 children had died meaning the fatality rate stood at 0.01 percent while between 0.5 percent and 6.1 percent of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization.
Children are typically at a lower risk of becoming severely ill or dying from coronavirus, with the CDC reporting that the risk for severe illness increases with age.
Nationwide, almost 17.5 million people of all ages have now been infected and 313,000 have died.
Hospitalizations reached record levels Friday with 114,751 patients across America, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Cases also increased by 228,825 in a single day while an additional 2,751 people died.