Father of Baby Hospitalized with Covid-19 Begs Americans to Get Vaccinated

Kyle Butrum, the Arkansas father of a one-year-old hospitalized with Covid-19 has made an impassioned plea for his fellow Americans to get vaccinated so they don’t need to suffer like his son.

Butrum told CNN that the hardest part of his ordeal is not being able to see his son Carter in the hospital.

“We can’t be there. I mean, it’s just one thing to have a child with an illness and to be there and help, but just due to the hospital regulations with their visitor restrictions, I mean, I can’t even go in. I don’t blame the hospital for that. They’re just trying to protect their employees as well, that their employees have families. So I don’t blame them for that, but it’s terrible. You can’t even communicate with the people that are trying to help,” he said.

Carter is currently on oxygen, Butrum said.

“His doctors are still treating the buildup in his lungs, trying to get that out with breathing treatments. And that’s moving along. The good thing for him now is that he’s kept his fever down for the past 24 hours. So that’s a good sign. Really what’s hurting him the most at this point, I think, outside the oxygen, is the exhaustion. You know, it’s so difficult for anyone really when you can’t sleep but especially someone that doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation, and a baby is used to sleeping,” he said. 

Butrum was firm in his recommendation that the best way for people to help is to get vaccinated. Less than 40% of Arkansas’s population is fully vaccinated and city and state officials are struggling to convince holdouts to get their shots as they fight a tide of misinformation and political polarization.

“I can’t go to the hospital. I can’t even help him. There’s nothing you can do to help the family members. … The only thing you can do to prevent someone else from doing this is to get your vaccine so that another child doesn’t have to do this, and another family doesn’t have to send their kid away, so another father doesn’t have to stand at the back of an ambulance and wonder if that’s the last time you’re going to see your son, because you can’t go with them.”

You can watch Butrum’s interview below.