‘It’s made it difficult’: 21-year-old Florida man’s cancer battle complicated by pandemic

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The first few months of Zane Tyson’s cancer battle were already difficult before the coronavirus pandemic swept in and made his treatments and care even more complicated.

The 21-year-old was diagnosed with brain cancer at the end of 2019. He and his mother, Sherri Tyson, traveled to St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tennessee, for treatment, with Zane going through emergency sessions of chemotherapy.

Sherri Tyson said her son was making progress before another setback came in the middle of the pandemic.

“On May 12, Zane suffered a cardiac arrest in our house, and I performed CPR for 12 minutes until the medics got there,” Sherri Tyson said.

She said COVID-19 protocols have made the situation even more challenging.

"It’s made it difficult for me to here with him. I'm only allowed to be in this room,” she said in a video call from Memphis. “They have a wellness center for families, but it's closed. But they are allowing me only to go down and use the shower there."

Moving forward, Sherri Tyson said the goal is to get Zane Tyson off the ventilator and into a long-term care facility in Central Florida. They have created a GoFundMe account.

But working around the pandemic and the protocols put in place can be a challenge.

“Once he leaves this hospital, they are going to follow the strict CDC guidelines of no visitation with Zane,” Sherri Tyson said. “And in the condition he is in, I just don’t see how that’s possible for either one of us to thrive and do better.”