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Winston-Salem mom shares story after losing son to asthma

Hayden Hairston, 11, was getting ready to enjoy his spring break when he experienced a deadly asthma attack.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — No parent should have to bury their child. Unfortunately, for one Winston-Salem mother, it has become her reality. Now, Ashley Hairston is sharing her heartache, as a way to educate others.

Hayden Hairston was just 11 years old when he died from a severe asthma attack on the first day of spring break.

Ashley's 11-year-old son, Hayden, was diagnosed with asthma at age 2, and  Ashley says it's been a battle ever since.

"He just was an amazing kid, and I'm not saying that because he was mine, but he really was like an amazing kid," Ashley said.

As Hayden grew older, he refused to let his asthma stop him from doing whatever he wanted to do.

"He was a ball of light," Ashley said. "He was 11 and played sports. He played basketball, baseball, and football. He was amazing at drums, he started playing when he was 2. He played tenor, snare, he was learning the quince, he was just a ray of sunshine."

As Hayden's light began to shine brighter, he and his mother felt they had a handle on his asthma, but that changed on April 11. 

"I heard a muffled sound in the back like, 'Ma,'" Ashley said. So, my heart just started fluttering, and you may ask why, but I had never heard him make (noise) before. I'd never heard him be so muffled calling my name. Hayden was leaning over the sink in the bathroom and he was like, 'Mom I can't breathe.'" So I put him on the bed and told him to let's do another breathing treatment, and soon as we finish this treatment we're going to go to the emergency room."

Before they could leave the house, things got worse. Ashley called the EMTs and they worked on Hayden for close to 40 minutes before they took him to Brenner's Children's Hospital.

"Finally the attendant told me, 'Ashley, we have done every life-saving measure we could do from the time EMS arrived to the time he got to Brenner's.' And at this point, I know what's going on and tears are coming out my eyes because I worked at Brenner's and I know what's going to happen."

Around 8 p.m., Hayden passed away. Although his mom is heartbroken, she must share his story. His mother knows she must share their story.