BUCKEYE, AZ — A Buckeye 13-year-old died last Friday following complications with COVID.
Donovan James Jones was born with sickle cell anemia.
His mother, Teresita Horne, believes when her husband came back from a trip with COVID, it spread to the rest of the family.
Horne was the first family member to be hospitalized with COVID.
A week into her two-week hospitalization with the virus, Donovan started having seizures.
On November 11, he was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s.
Horne says doctors told her Donovan’s brain started to swell and bleed which ultimately led to Donovan’s death just a day later on November 12.
She says if it weren’t for getting COVID, he’d still be here today.
Because Horne was dealing with her own bout with COVID, she never got to say goodbye to her son.
“I didn't get a chance to say goodbye, I didn't get a chance to touch him, none of that,” Horne said.
Horne, nor Donovan had gotten the vaccine.
Horne said she was talking with Donovan’s doctor about getting vaccinated, but they ran out of time. She now plans to get the vaccine.
Like many 13-year-olds, Horne describes her son as compassionate, a good older brother to his one sister. He always wore his mask everywhere he went to protect himself and others. He loved WWE wrestling and being “goofy,” says his mom.
“I would want him to know I love him, beyond.. beyond anything,” said Horne.
Horne says her son Donovan was a happy teenager who aspired to one day be an executive but, in the meantime, he enjoyed being 13.
“I want him to know that, please watch over your sister. keep her safe," Horne said. "I'm always here for him.”
A letter went out to parents of Liberty Elementary School Wednesday saying in part “Counselors will be available today and tomorrow for any child who would benefit from spending additional time with someone.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral expenses.