Infant dies from enterovirus, dad says 'we didn't know he was sick'

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- A couple is reeling from the loss of their infant son, and reached out to the media after doctors confirmed enterovirus killed him.

KTVK reported that baby, Lancen Kendall, is one of 24 cases statewide in Arizona that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing for the D68 strain.

Lancen’s parents say he showed no signs or symptoms that he was sick and that he just didn’t wake up from a nap earlier this month. He was rushed to Banner Thunderbird Medical Center and, five days later, pronounced brain dead.

“The lack of warning is the scariest part to me. We didn’t know he was sick,” said his father, Kevin Kendall.

The death of their 5-month-old is still an impossible scenario for the couple. Their son always had a beaming smile and appeared healthy, they say, but doctors determined he was dying from a strain of the enterovirus.

“It’s kind of terrifying that it literally came out of nowhere,” said his mother, Kathleen Kendall.

State health officials told KTVK that Lancen is one of 24 recent enterovirus cases statewide, but they can’t comment specifically about the cases only to say the CDC is testing them for the deadly D68 strain.

Although the Kendalls don’t have much information right now, they’re hoping to raise awareness.

“We want there to be some sort of awareness, if anything. If there’s nothing else that we can do, at least let them be aware that it’s out there and that it’s happening,” Lancen’s mother said.

Lancen’s parents say they spoke out because they’re hopeful others can learn from their tragedy. They also want parents to have their children checked routinely whether or not they’re showing signs or symptoms.