Two Children Die From COVID in Tennessee As Doctors Send Vaccination Appeal

Medical professionals in Memphis, Tennessee, are warning about the dangers of Delta variant and the need to get vaccinations, after two children died from COVID-19 over the weekend.

Dr. Nick Hysmith, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Le Bonheur, said both children were over the age of 10. One of the children was a patient, while the other was being treated at an outlying facility.

Speaking to WREG, Dr. Hysmith said he is seeing more and more juveniles being admitted to the hospital with severe COVID symptoms as a result of the Delta variant.

"Early on in the pandemic, we were seeing kids who would come in for another reason, maybe they broke their leg or something like that, and they would come in, and they would test positive for COVID," said Dr. Hysmith. "So, they would be in our COVID isolation area.

"What we have seen over the last week and a half is that kids are actually coming in with pretty severe COVID Symptoms. Respiratory symptoms and things of that nature."

Hysmith said the hospital is seeing more of their pediatric patients showing symptoms previously seen in the adult population which is requiring some of them to be incubated in their Intensive Care Unit.

WREG reported that there are currently eight children at Le Bonheur being treated for COVID, two of whom are in ICU.

Hysmith fears that the situation could get worse in the coming weeks unless more children are vaccinated.

"The other concerning issue is that we're moving into the fall, we're going back to school and there's been so many discussions here lately about mask mandates and that sort of thing," he said.

"I worry that we're seeing the increase in the Delta variant, we're seeing increased symptoms in kids and we're also having this debate about whether or not to wear masks or not."

Hysmith added: "I think the big thing is if your child is 12 or over, please get your child vaccinated. We are seeing really sick kids, and I think that's the best way to protect your children."

Speaking to Fox 13, Hysmith said some of the patients at Le Bonheur have underlying conditions, while others do not.

He reiterated the best way to protect children is to get vaccinated, or have them wear masks if they are currently too young for the shot.

The CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should be vaccinated in order to help protect themselves and others COVID-19.

"We have thought for a while we might see this coming based on what we've seen across the country. I've said for the last few weeks this is a vaccine-preventable illness," Hysmith said.

Dr. John Eick, of the Methodist Hospital in Memphis, also emphasized the need for everyone to get the vaccination as cases rise across the country.

"We thought we were past this," Eick told Fox 13. "We thought we wouldn't have to see this again."

memphis children die covid
(File photo) Paramedic Randy Lilly, wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), tends to a 10-month-old boy with fever while riding by ambulance with the infant's mother to Stamford Hospital on April 04, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Two children over the age of 10 have died from COVID-19 complications over the weekend im Memphis, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital said. John Moore/Getty Images