SC boy dies days after choking on ball and going into coma

A Georgetown, S.C. boy who was in a medically-induced coma after his heart reportedly stopped beating for eight minutes when a rubber ball became lodged in his throat has died.

Payton Bryant Gaskins, 10, died Saturday at Medical University of South Carolina, according to grahamfuneralhome.org.

“Payton was an all-American boy who loved being outdoors. He spent his free time hunting, fishing, and riding dirt bikes and four wheelers. He was in the fifth grade at Maryville Elementary in Mrs. Kimberly Wall’s Class,” according to the obituary on grahamfuneralhome.org, adding Payton was the son of Billy Gaskins and Candice Gaskins.

On Oct. 15, Payton was airlifted to MUSC in Charleston after he accidentally swallowed a small rubber ball, according to his GoFundMe page.

Payton was without oxygen for 45 minutes and became unresponsive for eight minutes, according to a Facebook page named Prayers-For-Payton. While Payton was in the induced coma, he had several seizures, the GoFundMe page said.

According to a Facebook post on the Prayers-For-Payton page, written from the perspective of Peyton’s mother Candice, breaking the news of Payton’s death to his sister Morgan Elizabeth Gaskins was difficult.

“It took so long for the right words to come out of our mouths to tell Morgan her brother died that we had to walk out the room and try again,” the post said. “How do you tell your sweet innocent 6 year old that her brother will not be around to comfort her when she is scared at night, to watch late night movies with, sneaking thru the living room in the middle of the night to eat candy while mom and dad are sleeping, waking up at 7 on a Saturday to the sounds of a fourwheelers revving up in the back yard, or have the best friend she has had for the past almost 7 years.”

The obituary pointed out Payton’s affinity for his family.

“Payton loved his little sister and cousins and spent as much time as possible with them. He was a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, and cousin whose bright smile and charming personality will be dearly missed,” the obituary said.

The GoFundMe page was set up for the Gaskins family to raise money for everyday expenses since Payton’s parents took time off work to be with their son in Charleston. The goal of $6,000 was reached Monday night, as 95 people donated over the course of seven days.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, from 6-8 p.m. at Graham Funeral Home, and funeral services will be held at Andrews First Pentecostal Holiness Church on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at grahamfuneralhome.org.