11-year-old heat stroke victim warns others
DALTON, GA. (WRCB) - An 11-year-old Dalton boy is back home recovering after a heat stroke almost killed him. His family wants his story told to bring attention to the very serious issue of keeping kids hydrated.
Eleven-year-old Driason Cajuste is about to start sixth grade at Dalton Middle.
He went to visit his dad in Florida last month. He says the weather was like it is here now, 80s and humid.
He went for a run, but didn't drink enough water that day. It was a small decision that nearly cost him his life.
"I said I didn't feel good, I started to shake and I just collapsed," Driason says.
"Oh my God, is he going to die?" his mom, Kamilah Blalock says.
As Kamilah flew down to Florida from Dalton, Driason was air-lifted to three different hospitals.
"It's the hardest thing for a parent. He was laying in the bed and he had a vent in his throat breathing for him," Kamilah says.
His body temperature had reached above 107 degrees. He was in a coma for 15 days.
"I had lots of dreams that were actually real," Driason says.
"Has was basically gone. They were just trying to keep him comfortable," Driason's grandpa, Jimmy Blalock says.
Doctors came close to performing liver and kidney transplants, but determined his body couldn't handle it and prepared his family for the worst.
"It's the worst thing that could ever happen," Kamilah says.
"Hearing that just tore me up. I exploded," Jimmy says.
But then he came around in what his doctors called a miracle.
A month later, he's home in Dalton on a lot of medications, still months of recovery ahead and a lifetime of now being diabetic, but with a new mission. He wants to educate kids and parents about drinking enough water and shed any misconceptions about healthy kids playing outside, being "just fine."
"Make sure you're hydrated and then if you're feeling tired, you feel like you're starting to lose all your energy, you have to tell, no matter what they say, hey can we slow down and take a break," Driason says.
"I don't want any parent to ever know that feeling because of something you could've said of something your could've told somebody," Kamilah says.
Driason's heat stroke came just a week after he got a good bill of health at a check up. Doctors ruled that he did not have any pre-existing condition. It purely came down to him not drinking enough water and exercising in the humidity. Research shows 75-percent of us don't drink enough water.