LYNN - A Lynn family spent the weekend saying goodbye to a 5-year-old who suddenly and unexpectedly fell sick with RSV Friday. An ambulance rushed Grayson Moth to Salem Hospital when he stopped breathing.
He was then transferred to Boston Children's Hospital and put on a ventilator. The family planned to unplug the machine Monday night.
"We got the sad news yesterday that he was completely brain-dead, the chance of survival was literally nothing," said his aunt Sina Oth.
She said he seemed fine when she last saw him a week earlier on Thanksgiving. "He was normal running around like a normal kid," she said. "I just don't understand how it went from a common cold, to pneumonia, to RSV, to death pretty much."
The news comes as respiratory illnesses sweep the country and New England. Tufts Medical Center epidemiologist Shira Doron said it's typical this season, and cases as extreme as Grayson's are rare.
"We are not seeing an early increase; we're not seeing high levels compared to normal," she said. "We're seeing a normal winter, but in a normal winter we see a lot of respiratory viruses."
Doron said the most important thing for parents to watch is breathing. When RSV turns serious, getting air becomes a struggle. "Their chest and abdominal muscles and neck muscles show that they are straining to get air," she said.
Grayson Moth's family warns things can change in a matter of hours, and even minutes. "To all mothers, fathers, parents out there, if your child is sick bring them in," said Oth.
She has set up and online fundraiser to help pay for the boy's services and burial.
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