A Missouri mom is sharing picture’s of her dying son’s blood-splattered hospital room in an effort to raise awareness about the seriousness of the coronavirus.
Stephanie Franek, a nurse from St. Louis, told The Sun that her son Peyton Baumgarth was just 13 years old when he died from the virus in October. Six days into his diagnosis, the eighth-grader’s health suddenly declined on October 31 after his oxygen levels plummeted, the 44-year-old told to the outlet.
“He had this big coughing fit and he basically started to hemorrhage in his chest,” Franek said, according to The Sun.
Peyton was receiving treatment at the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, the mother of two explained to The Sun. She described that she watched in horror as one doctor attempted to place a tube in her son’s neck to help his blood oxygenate, causing blood to spray on the walls and equipment.
“It was all over the cardiothoracic surgeon and he just kept working,” she recalled to The Sun.
She is now speaking out about the manner of Peyton’s death in the hopes of inspiring Americans to adhere to health guidelines.
According to The Sun, Franek experienced another devastating blow when her sister, Cyndi Crawford, died at 57 from the virus just five weeks after Peyton.
“One loss would have been heartbreaking alone but these two have completely shattered our hearts,” she shared with the outlet.
Here’s what you need to know:
Franek Tested Positive for the Virus Around the Same Time as Her Son
After testing positive for the coronavirus on October 25, Franek told The Sun that she and her son experienced mild symptoms and began to quarantine.
Peyton’s symptom’s “didn’t seem life threatening” at first, she continued, saying they watched a lot of movies during their quarantine.
Four days after they tested positive Franek noticed Peyton was struggling to finish a conversation and his nail beds had turned blue, she told the outlet.
“I said, ‘Buddy, I think we need to go to the hospital,'” she told The Sun.
Doctors Determined That Peyton’s Oxygen Levels Had Declined to Just 44%
Upon arriving at the hospital, doctors detected Peyton’s oxygen levels at just 44% — a healthy person’s levels should be between 95% to 100%, Franek disclosed to The Sun.
“As a nurse, I have never seen someone walking and talking with an oxygen saturation level of just 44%,” she told the outlet. “We had only been in the ER for probably one hour when doctors decided they needed to put him on a ventilator.”
Although Peyton previously suffered from a thyroid problem and asthma, Franek told The Sun that she did not think he was at risk of dying.
“I was scared he was going to be put on a ventilator but I also thought we’ll get over this hump and bring him home,” she recalled.
Doctors Treated Peyton With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), in Which Blood Is Temporarily Removed From the Body
Doctors decided to treat Peyton with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), in which “blood is temporarily removed from the body to allow artificial oxygenation of the red blood cells and the removal of carbon dioxide,” according to The Sun.
However, Peyton’s conditioned worsened and he began to hemorrhage, the outlet reported.
“The surgeons were trying to replace the ECMO and they were doing CPR to help circulate his blood because his pulse was so weak and his oxygen levels were so low,” Franek told The Sun.
It was when one doctor tried to replace the ECMO tubes in Peyton’s neck that the blood splattered across the room, Franek told The Sun.
“You don’t hear about kids getting Covid and it being that serious,” she shared with the outlet. “I was just in shock.”
Franek had been granted permission to be in the hospital due to her COVID diagnosis, The Sun reported. The outlet said she “watched as 10 nurses and four doctors battled for an hour and 15 minutes to save her son’s life before calling the time of death.”
“I hope people will take Covid more seriously and not say it is a political agenda or some type of fake news or that it is the same as the flu,” Franek expressed to The Sun.