LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — An Arkansas mother is grieving after losing her teenage son to COVID-19.
Jordan Sinor, 16, of Harrison, is one of two Arkansas children to die of the virus. His mother April Mathews said he was her best friend.
"There was nobody he didn't like. He changed everything about me in those 16 years," she said.
Sinor, born with Down syndrome, was very involved in the Harrison community. His mother said he helped wherever he could, whether that was at church or feeding the homeless. Mathews said her son changed her perspective on life.
"He's the one that had the strength to get momma up, to show that this is how you love, momma. This is how you love them no matter what," she said.
Matthews said Sinor was not vaccinated even though he's old enough to receive the shot. She said she isn't vaccinated, either, and even after son's death, she won't get the shot until she's seen more research about its effectiveness.
Sinor first started showing symptoms of COVID-19 on July 4. Just two days later, it worsened to the point where he was flown to Arkansas Children's Hospital for treatment. For the next week, Mathews was hopeful she would be able to bring her son home.
"I could tell him, 'You tell me if you're OK. You give momma a wink.' And he would wink at me and he would let me know he was okay," she said.
But on July 14, Jordan took a turn for the worse. His oxygen levels started dropping and a decision was made to put him on a ventilator.
By then, it was too late.
"When they took the mask off, before a minute was up, I watched my son's soul leave his body and he died," Mathews said with tears in her eyes.
Seeing firsthand the devastating effects the virus can have on a family, Mathews hopes this will come as a warning to everyone.
"It's the most evil thing that could ever hit our people," she said of the virus.
Mathews said she's trying move on and hopes no one forgets her son.
"Sixteen years is not long enough, and my family will never be the same," she said.
To remember Sinor, a proclamation will be made by the City of Harrison every year on his birthday.
Arkansas has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. The low vaccine rate, along with the spread of the Delta variant, has led to a surge in cases over the past month. Hospitalizations have more than tripled in that time.
More than 6,000 people in Arkansas have died from the virus.
Click here to find a vaccination site in Arkansas.