Tragedy struck when a small rubber ball got lodged in Payton Gaskins’s throat.

The 10-year-old South Carolina boy went without oxygen for 45 minutes after accidentally choking on the toy, according to The State.

Payton was put in a medically induced coma after his heart stopped beating for eight minutes, suffering multiple seizures while he fought to hold onto his life. Sadly, the young boy died days after he was airlifted to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Billy and Candice Gaskins lost their son, and his little sister, Morgan, had to say goodbye to her big brother.

The Graham Funeral Home obituary describes the 10-year-old as:

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. Payton loved his little sister and cousins and spent as much time as possible with them.

That love for his only sister made the pain his parents were suffering through even more difficult as they were faced with finding the words to tell their 6-year-old daughter that Payton, who was best her friend, was never coming home.

They had to explain to Morgan how she was supposed to live without Payton after spending days by their son’s side watching his life come to an end.

Candice shared the heartbreaking moment she had to look in Morgan’s eyes to say her brother was gone:

The devastated mother wrote:

One of the hardest conversations Billy and I have ever had with our child was today I know God has a plan for everybody and we shouldn’t question God but I must say this week it has been very hard not to.We have stayed unbelievably strong thru all if this and I could say I don’t how but I would be lying.

We hit our knees and prayed the hardest we have ever prayed in our lives the past 7 days.We know God is the reason for our strength and he prepared us for this these past 7 days. 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.

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 .

We made sure she knew she would be the number one person her brother would be watching over and protecting and she could talk to him all she wanted when she was scared and he would be up there listening hold your loved ones tight tomorrow is not promised.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family deal with financial costs they are facing while they work on staying strong for each other after Payton’s unexpected death.

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