Tyler woman speaks out after grandson dies from H1N1

By Taylor Hemness - email

Jacob Moya was doing an internship at his church camp in early July when he started feeling sick. He called his father, who offered to bring him home, but Jacob said he's stick it out. On Sunday night, July 12, his grandparents were coming through Pflugerville on their way back to Tyler. It's a day his grandmother will never forget.

"He had just come in from church camp, and we were all going to meet for dinner," Kim Covey said. "He just said, 'Nanny, I don't feel good.' And I hugged him, and I could tell how warm he felt. And so he went to bed, and that was the last time we were able to see him."

The next day, Jacob's parents took him to the doctor, and he was diagnosed with bronchitis. But a day later, he was having trouble breathing. His doctors told the family it was pneumonia, and he was flown to Austin, and then to San Antonio. That's when he was diagnosed with H1N1.

"He was put on this machine to give his lungs, and his heart a rest," Covey said. "His lungs at that point were so damaged from the pneumonia that even the ventilator could not work for him. At one point, the doctor said he is the sickest kid in the state of Texas."

Jacob spent the last three weeks of his life on that machine, unconscious. All the while, doctors believed he was making progress. But after all that time, the machine started to take its toll.

"One of the problems of being on an ECMO machine is internal bleeding," Covey said. "And that is essentially what caused his death. He began to bleed into his brain. At that point, there was no other option but to remove him from that machine."

Jacob's lungs weren't strong enough to function on their own, and he died not long after that. The last time his parents had spoken to him was when he was care-flighted to Austin.

"They told him that they were going to have to ventilate him, and he would be unconscious," Covey said. "He said that's OK, and he looked at his his mom and dad, and he said, 'I love you both very much.' And those were the last words he ever spoke."

Covey says that the family is still grieving, but they're not bitter, because they feel like there's no one thing they or the doctors could have done to prevent Jacob's death.

But, they are being even more careful about sanitizing things because she says most people aren't aware how fast germs can spread.

CDC spokesman Llelwyn Grant, told KLTV 7 that roughly a third of the children who have died from H1N1 nationwide did not have underlying health conditions.

In Jacob's case, it took just over a month.

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