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Boy battling COVID-19 mourns in isolation after losing father to the virus

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 12:29 PM CDT
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FLETCHER, Okla. (KSWO/Gray News) – A 13-year-old living with high-functioning autism is battling COVID-19 and lost his father to the virus last week.

Since he’s still COVID positive, Daniel Sprague is stuck in quarantine, left to mourn the loss by himself.

“The worst part of it is that Daniel is still COVID positive and he’s in isolation away from even us, so at the time of his life where he needs the most support and love, we can’t even give it,” Daniel’s mother Rachel Huey told KSWO, explaining his father’s death has been difficult for him to process.

Daniel and his father, Jim Sprague, were quarantined together after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 13-year-old woke up to get a drink of water Thursday morning and found his father not breathing.

Daniel immediately called 911.

“He knew what to do,” said his mother Rachel Huey, who is the deputy director of emergency management.

Several emergency officials responded to the call, but it was too late. Jim Sprague had died.

Daniel is obsessed with first responders, like his parents, who are his heroes. He hopes to be an EMT, firefighter and nurse when he grows up.

A family friend organized a drive-by parade of first responders to help lift Daniel’s spirits. Several agencies agreed to ride in the parade, and his mom is blown away by the show of support.

“Lizzy has organized this drive-by that will have all of the first responders in the area driving by in emergency vehicles, offering their love and support to let Daniel know he’s not alone. Even though they can’t come up and give him big hugs, they can at least show him some support,” Huey said.

Even though nothing can replace his dad, Huey wants this to give him a glimmer of hope.

“He was a wonderful dad. Even though we had our differences and our marriage didn’t work after 20 years, I could not have asked for a better dad for my kids, and we co-parented well and he was spectacular with these kids,” Huey said.

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