‘It’s hurting my heart’: 10-year-old Virginia boy dies just days after hospital release


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond Public Schools student died just days after being released from the hospital, leaving friends, family and teachers shocked.

Xavier Holman, a third-grader at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School, died Jan. 30.

On Monday, Shani Holman, Xavier’s mother, went to the funeral home to watch her only child get his final haircut.

“It’s very hard,” Holman said, crying. “I never imagined that my 10-year-old would be laying on a slab in somebody’s funeral home. This is not what life is supposed to be right now.”

Holman, who described her son as healthy and happy, showed home videos of him, saying Xavier’s laugh was infectious and could light up any room, and you could count on him to light up any dance floor. He loved dancing to Bruno Mars and drawing Sonic the Hedgehog.

“All I want to hear is my baby tell me he needs me,” Holman sobbed. “Right now, I need him more than anything and I can’t have him.”

Holman said Xavier had a sore throat and no appetite on Jan. 26. She said took him to the emergency room that night, and he tested negative for strep throat and COVID-19. Holman said her son was given Tylenol and sent home.

“There was no blood work done, no urine labs done, no anything was done,” Holman said. “His heart rate was up, but they just said the machine was malfunctioning.”

However, the next morning, Holman said, Xavier was unresponsive and she dialed 911.

“I panicked. I’m calling his name and shaking him, and he wouldn’t respond,” said Holman. “He was so cold, but his head was hot.”

After being rushed by an ambulance to the hospital, Holman said Xavier died three days later from what doctors called a diabetic coma. However, his mother says he didn’t have a history of diabetes. She said her son had autism and asthma but nothing else.

“He never had diabetes,” said Holman. “He’s tested for it every year during a physical. We just went to the doctor. Yes, he’s a thick kid, but he never had diabetes. I’m lost, and I need answers.”

There’s been an outpouring of support from the school community,

The principal at Xavier’s school described him as a “kind young man that had a gentle spirit,” while a former teacher remembers him as a “sweet, compassionate and creative force.”

His mother is struggling to make sense of it all.

“It’s hurting me, it’s hurting my heart, it’s hurting everything,” Holman wept. “He was my everything. I just don’t know what to do anymore.”

Holman requested an autopsy be performed and is currently awaiting the results, which could take up to six weeks. She is hoping to get clarity on her son’s death.

Xavier will be laid to rest Wednesday.

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