11-year-old saves dad having stroke

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Mathews moved from Arizona to Fort Bend County early this year. It was not long after their journey across the country that Heather Mathews and her husband Beau became sick with COVID-19.

Beau had a more mild case.

"He was achy. He had a fever and he was just truly lethargic," said Heather.

That was in mid-January.

Their 11-year-old son, Byron, did not get the virus, and soon his parents recovered. Then about a month later, something scary happened.

"My dad was getting out of the shower and he fell," said Byron.

Byron called 911 and Beau was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Sugar Land.

"I was scared and I just wanted to help my dad," said Byron.

Beau was having a stroke, and his son's quick actions meant Beau got a treatment that prevented long-term effects.

"He was a real hero that day and that made a big difference for his dad, because he was able to come to the emergency room right away," said Dr. Hamid Hamdi, a neurologist at Memorial Hermann, UTHealth Neurosciences.

Beau stayed in the hospital for about a week and a half and has gone through rehabilitation. He has his son to thank.

"I can't believe how he did (it). He saved my life," said Beau.

What puzzled doctors is what caused the stroke. Beau was just 41 years old and had no major risk factors.

"Unusual was his age and even though he had some high blood pressure, that was the only risk factor he had," said Dr. Hamdi.

Doctors say COVID is linked to stroke but in this case, the stroke occurred a month after Beau was diagnosed with the virus. Still, his doctor says COVID could be a factor.

"We cannot say for certain that it's related to COVID, but certainly there's some possibility because this gentleman did not have any major risk factors for stroke other than the fact that he had COVID a few weeks ago. So putting the two things together, we certainly have to look at that," said Dr. Hamdi.

While Beau had a mild case, it is possible the stroke was linked to COVID. That's one reason why doctors say you should get vaccinated and watch for any signs of a possible stroke.

As for Beau, he's still recovering but he credits his progress and his life to his 11-year-old son.

"I was happy that I helped him," said Byron.

As Beau recovers the family still has medical expenses. They've set up a fund to help.

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