SCS high school student dies from COVID-19 complications, family says

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 16-year-old student at Westwood High School died from complications related to COVID-19 over the weekend, his family told FOX13.

Quintina Bucker said her son Azorean Tatum, who went by the nickname Zo, passed away over the weekend.

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital confirmed a child died of the illness over the weekend but did not identify the child by name.

This makes three children who have died from COVID-19 within the last month.

RELATED: Another child dies due to COVID-19 complications, officials say

Buckner said her son was perfectly healthy before he started school earlier this month.

She said he was an outgoing child who loved his family, friends, and his football teammates.

“I was just heartbroken,” she said. “I’m still heartbroken.”

On August 13, she got a call from Azoreum at school. Through tears, he told her he couldn’t breathe.

“I went over to the school, and they called the paramedics because, at this point, he couldn’t stand up or walk. He was so weak,” she said.

He was rushed to Baptist Children’s Hospital, where he was diagnosed with COVID.

After a while, Buckner said her son seemed to be doing better and was told he could recover at home.

“But then his fever kept spiking,” she said. “I kept giving him plenty of Tylenol, plenty of fluids and vitamins at stuff like that. It took a turn for the worse.”

Buckner said she called the paramedics, and her son was taken to Le Bonheur, where he later died.

“The COVID had ruined his lungs, so he flat-lined,” Buckner said.

Buckner said her son, who had asthma, was vaccinated.

She said he was an outgoing child and loved playing football at Westwood High School, where he was a student.

“He had a good sense of humor, always had people laughing. He was just so lovable, loved his family and friends,” she said.

Buckner believes her son got the virus at school.

She hopes school districts will step up and make more virtual options available, so other families won’t have to feel her pain.

“It’s just getting to the point where I hear parents say they’re going to take their kids out of school regardless because they don’t want to have to go through what I am going through,” she said.

Shelby County Schools released the following statement:

Shelby County Schools is aware of the passing of a Westwood High School student; however, we are unable to share any personal details. Grief counselors are offering support for school students and staff. We share our deepest condolences with the family during this time.

If you’d like to help with funeral expenses, click here for the gofundme fundraiser.