‘He went downhill so fast’: Dayton woman says her 12-year-old son died from COVID-19 complications

The family said the boy was diagnosed after visiting family

Dayton, Texas – The mother of a 12-year-old Dayton boy says she is heartbroken after her son died from COVID-19 complications.

“He went downhill so fast, just horrendously fast,” mother Casey Castorina told KPRC 2.

Ryland Daic died Tuesday, Aug. 10 at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Castorina says Ryland had been visiting his grandfather when she learned he was sick on Aug. 5. The mother said other relatives learned they were COVID positive a few days earlier.

“They sounded congested like when you have a head cold. I talked to him multiple times a day. He was still going out fishing and building his model cars and making Tik Tok videos,” said Castorina.

But, the following Tuesday, Castorina says Ryland started to go downhill.

“He was there, but he wasn’t there. I would ask him questions and I would get a thumbs up or a thumbs down. He couldn’t speak,” she said.

Castorina said she took her son to an emergency room in Crosby.

“The nurse came from the back and said, ‘You need to get him in the car and drive him to the medical center because he needs an emergency room and all we can do is fly him out of state,’” she said.

Castorina said Ryland was eventually airlifted to Children’s Memorial Herman.

“They said his heart wasn’t able to beat,” Castorina told KPRC 2. “It was beyond fast.”

Castorina said Daic died within hours.

She says over the weekend, the hospital confirmed he tested positive for COVID.

“He was born with asthma but hasn’t even had a problem in 10 or 11 years. I mean nothing,” she said.

Ryland’s stepfather said he is going to miss everything about him.

“I don’t want another parent to have to go through this,” said Keith Castorina.

Ryland was supposed to start 6th grade at Wilson Jr. High in Dayton ISD last Thursday.

Dayton ISD Assistant Superintendent of Student Services released the following statement in regards to Daic:

“It is with extreme sadness that our district confirms that a Dayton ISD student passed away last week on August 10, 2021. The district had additional counselors available to Wilson Jr. High campus to assist grieving students. Our sincerest condolences are with the family and friends.”

The Harris County Medical Examiner has not yet determined an official cause of death.

“Hold them tight and take pictures because unfortunately, that’s all we have left,” said Ryland’s mother.