COVID-infected student from Memphis dies; mother believes he caught the virus at school

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Over the weekend, a family announced the death of their 16-year-old member, a football player from Memphis, due to COVID-19 and pneumonia.

An automated message was disseminated by the Westwood High School on Sunday to students and faculty regarding Azorean Tatum’s death, without mentioning the cause of death.

According to the student’s mother, Quintina Buckner, his son, who was called Zo, fainted at school last August 13. He was rushed to Baptist Children’s Hospital and was determined to have been infected with COVID-19.

“The school called me and then called the paramedics who rushed him to the hospital from there,” said Buckner. “He couldn’t stand up or anything.”

Buckner said that Zo was treated and discharged from the hospital but his condition became worse in the next few days.

 “I gave him Tylenol and stuff like that because he was already COVID positive,” said Buckner. “When it seemed like it was just getting worse, I called the paramedics, and they took him to Le Bonheur, and he passed at Le Bonheur.”

Over the weekend, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital said their child patient has died of the disease, without mentioning his identity.

The student’s mother said Zo has received COVID-19 vaccine. Her son, who suffers from asthma, seemed to reflect the health situation in educational institutions at the start of the school year, Buckner said. She believes that her son was infected by the virus while at school.

 “He wasn’t wheezing, he wasn’t coughing, he was just happy-go-lucky. He was at school for three days, and he just drastically got sick. It’s unbelievable,” she said.

She described her son as a loveable, sociable, and vocal one. Buckner still encourages everyone to complete their vaccination despite what happened to his son.

“I’m not saying the outcome wouldn’t be different, but, you know,” she said, as reported by KRON4.

Meanwhile, 28 children infected with COVID are still seeking treatment at Le Bonheur, the hospital said. Among them, eight are in the ICU while two others are on ventilators.