Father of one-year-old baby hospitalized with COVID-19 at Cox shares message

‘Please don’t let this happen to your kids. It’s not worth it.’
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The father of a one-year-old infant hospitalized in Springfield with COVID-19 has a heartbreaking message after watching his son struggle.

Carter Butrum was born three months premature last year, and his family spent quite a bit of time at hospitals caring for their baby. After months progress, his parents thought their toddler was done with hospitals.

“There’s no smaller feeling than watching someone who can’t speak for themselves go through that and not be able to help,” Carter’s father, Kyle Butrum said.

Alongside worry and unease, feelings of familiarity consume the Arkansas family. Butrum spent many months needing special care after he was born prematurely.

”Spent five months wondering if he was ever going to come home,” Kyle Butrum said. “And I thought we were done with the major hospital things. Now here I am a year later, wondering if he is ever going to make it home again.”

Sentiments of vulnerability exist once again, but this time because of COVID-19. Carter had cold symptoms at daycare late last week, but RSV and COVID tests came back negative initially.

On Monday, things got worse. Carter was taken to urgent care and tested positive for COVID-19.

”Last night, and over the night it just seemed like he couldn’t catch his breath,” Butrum said. “I mean, he was breathing but the coughing was tense.”

A stop at Cox in Branson turned into an emergency trip to Cox South in Springfield. Carter is now requiring Oxygen.

”He’s just exhausted, and is doing everything he can,” Butrum said. “He’s only one year old. There’s only so much a one-year-old can do when it’s fully exhausted.”

While Carter is with his mom at Cox South, the anxiety still sticks with his father while he can’t be at his son’s side.

“That’s the worst, the second being helpless to the situation, you’re now completely helpless, because you can’t even communicate with people that are trying to help,” Butrum said.

His son stays on his mind.

”For something that’s avoidable, it’s not fair to him,” he said.

Carter’s father said he does not want anyone to experience what he is going through. He wants people to know the virus truly can affect anyone.

“This can happen to your kids,” he said. “It can happen to your mom. It can happen to your aunts, uncles, cousins. There is no line in the sand. It happened to my one year old. And regardless of whatever you think you’re part of the fabric of the community.”

As a community, he said everyone should do their part, starting with the vaccine.

”So to just actively choose not to do it, is to actively put someone else in danger,” Butrum said. “And that’s not fair to the ones who can’t make that decision. So please, please don’t let this happen to your kids. It’s not worth it.”

Butrum said getting vaccinated is not just about you, it is about protecting those who cannot protect themselves, especially young children.

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