Getting the common cold isn’t usually a life-threatening emergency, but a South Bay couple says it may be the reason their son died.
Mark and Belle Ang have been living in shock for the past two weeks after their healthy, vibrant and athletic 9-year-old son, Tristan, died suddenly.
Doctors think Tristan's death may have stemmed from a rare complication of the common cold or adenovirus.
"They said that, unfortunately, one of the complications is that it can go to the brain," Mark Ang said.
"Waking up every morning, it’s a struggle for us," Belle Ang added. "At night, you cannot sleep."
The Angs said it started one week before one of Tristan’s taekwondo competitions. The third grader, who attended Marshall Pomeroy Elementary School in Milpitas, was a big fan of the sport and also a black belt. Mark said Tristan became a little weak, a little tired, with a headache, fever, nausea and vomiting.
Doctors sent them home from the hospital, saying he was just dehydrated. But a few days later, he started looking dazed and struggled to say his own name.
"I was so concerned, worried that I told my dad, can you keep an eye on the other two, we’re going to go to the emergency room again," Mark Ang said.
Once in the intensive care unit, Tristan’s brain started swelling, and soon, his heart stopped. Four times.
"After the fourth go, that’s when the doctor told Belle and I that he’s dying," Mark said. "As a nurse, I know. But as a dad, I don’t want to believe it."
Within 3 hours, Tristan was gone.
Neither Mark nor Belle, both nurses, could believe it.
"We’re blaming ourselves. What did we miss?" Belle said.
The Angs have two other young children, but Tristan was their first born, and they had tried 14 years to have him.
The family wanted to donate Tristan's organs to another patient but said he wasn’t eligible because he had the adenovirus.
A GoFundMe page launched July 1 on behalf of the Ang family had collected nearly $8,000 of a $10,000 goal as of Thursday evening.