‘It’s hurting my heart’: 10-year-old RPS student suddenly dies after being released from the hospital


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond Public Schools student suddenly died after being released from the hospital; leaving friends, family, and teachers shocked. Xavier Holman was a student at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School and had his whole life ahead of him, but it was tragically cut short at just 10 years old.

Instead of planning their next adventure together, Shani Holman, Xavier’s mother, is now planning her only child’s funeral. On Monday, Holman went to the funeral home to watch her son get his final haircut.

“It’s very hard,” cried Holman. “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 suppose to be right now.”

Holman showed 8News home videos of her son, 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 busting his moves to Bruno Mars and drawing Sonic the Hedgehog.

The third grader is now dancing and showing off his art skills in Heaven, after suddenly dying on Jan. 30.

“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 sharing the final moments with her son. She says Xavier was complaining of a sore throat and had no appetite on Tuesday, January 26. Holman goes on to say, that same night she took him to the emergency room at the VCU Medical Center. That’s where Xavier tested negative for strep throat and COVID-19. Holman says he was given some Tylenol and sent home.

“There was no blood work done, no urine labs done, no anything was done,” Holman told 8News. “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 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 are calling a diabetic coma, however his mother says he never had diabetes.

“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.”

Xavier was a third grader at Overby-Sheppard, home of the bumblebees. The school’s principal describing him as a ‘kind young man that had a gentle spirit’, while a former teacher remembers Xavier as a ‘sweet, compassionate and creative force”.

While there’s been an outpouring of support from the RPS community, Holman 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 says her son had autism and asthma, but nothing else; describing him as healthy and happy. She did request an autopsy be performed and is currently awaiting the results, which could take up to six weeks. Holman is hoping to get clarity on her son’s death and get her questions answered.

Xavier will be laid to rest on Wednesday.

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