YAKIMA, Wash. -- A 2-year-old Yakima boy died at Seattle Children's Hospital on Thursday, Dec. 12, nearly two weeks after being diagnosed with croup, a common respiratory illness in children, according to the child's family.
The toddler, Lucas Jacobson, came down with a "seemingly innocent" cough that was later diagnosed as croup around the beginning of December, according to a GoFundMe page created on behalf of the family.
Lucas for his symptoms at a hospital on Monday, Dec. 2 and was released. A short time later, his parents, Derrik and Heather, became concerned that Lucas wasn't breathing well and rushed him back to the hospital.
On their way, the boy stopped breathing.
"Upon arrival emergency room staff rushed to his aid, and then his heart stopped. They worked tirelessly for 30 minutes to bring him back and get him stabilized," the GoFundMe page says.
Once stable, Lucas was then flown to Seattle Children's Hospital.
His mother, Heather, announced his tragic passing via Facebook on Dec. 12:
It is with a heavy heart that we share Lucas James Jacobson has gone home to his Heavenly Father. Please know your prayers have carried this family these last 10 days and we have full faith that Lucas is happy and whole in heaven and we WILL see him again. Lucas' legacy will live on as he will be a Christmas miracle for a number of other children. Heather, Derrik, and Judah are here with several friends and family in Seattle. We haven't thought yet about what his celebration of life will look like but we will post more information when we have it. We continue to mourn for Lucas, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Father and while his life on earth was short, he brought so much joy to his family and those who knew him. In addition, we celebrate all of you who have come together to pray for Lucas and send all your kind prayers, thoughts, and stories. We hope the world will continue to come together like this for other families in need.
Since Lucas' passing, there has been a tremendous outpouring of support from the community.
His GoFundMe page has received more than $24,500 in donations, and dozens of people have signed up to cook meals for the family through the end of February through a program called Meal Train.
KAPP-KVEW was not able to confirm the official cause of death. Lucas' mother confirmed via social media that her son's health started to deteriorate shortly after he was diagnosed with croup.
According to MayoClinic.org, croup refers to an infection of the upper airway, which obstructs breathing and causes a characteristic barking cough. Its symptoms are similar to those of a common cold.
The Yakima Health District says the infection is commonly diagnosed in children around the same time as flu season, and it can be especially dangerous in susceptible groups like infants or children with respiratory issues.
Ways to prevent croup include frequent hand washing, keeping children away from infected individuals and encouraging children to cough or sneeze into their elbow.