ARIZONA NEWS

9-year-old migrant dies of organ failure near Mesa after crossing into the U.S.

Jul 3, 2023, 6:00 PM

child migrant death from heat related medical issues in june 2023...

A dog stands next to the US-Mexico border on May 12, 2023 in Yuma, Arizona. (Photo by Ethan Swope/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Swope/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The sizzling Phoenix heat makes traveling from Mexico to the U.S. difficult for most migrants. Children are especially vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, like one nine-year-old child who died from medical complications after crossing the border.

The boy’s mother called 911 on June 15, according to a Friday news release from US Customs and Border Protection officials. She needed help with her son’s heat-related medical issues, including seizures.

Her call reached the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office, which sent the alert to Tucson Border Patrol officials at around 9:40 p.m., according to the announcement. A National Guard Air Unit found the family and sent their GPS coordinates to the local fire department for emergency medical services.

EMS personnel located the boy near Mesa, according to Border Patrol. They carried him to an ambulance, where he was transported to Northwest Medical Center in Sahuarita.

An aircraft transported the child to Banner Desert Medical Center the next day.

Excessive heat caused this child migrant death

“Medical personnel diagnosed him with multi-organ failure and placed him on life support,” the press release said.

The boy’s mother told officials she, her two sons and a male adult crossed into the U.S. at around 2:30 a.m. on June 15.

Her son had no medical issues before they crossed the desert during the summer, the press release said.

The child’s mother also told authorities she and her family had been without water or fluids for an hour and a half. After that, her son’s condition rapidly deteriorated.

Officials say the child was pronounced dead on June 17.

His mother told authorities she thinks walking in the heat caused his issues.

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9-year-old migrant dies of organ failure near Mesa after crossing into the U.S.