Autopsy shows Galesburg boy died of a bacterial infection

Knox County Coroner Mark Thomas provided additional information today regarding the September death of a six-year-old Galesburg boy. 

Jaden Lester was found unresponsive on September 15. Preliminary autopsy results showed Lester’s tonsils became inflamed and restricted his breathing, but why the inflammation suddenly happened was unclear.

Bacterial and viral cultures were performed to try and determine the cause of death. 

Thomas tells WGIL a final autopsy showed the boy’s epiglottis and larynx became infected by a bacterial infection known as Hib. 

“He had (sic) had the vaccine against the Hib,” Thomas says. “But, there’s different strains of the pathogen and the vaccine can’t cover all of the different strains of that. You can get it from people who are carrying the bacteria and don’t even know it.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Hib mainly causes illness in babies and young children. Lester was a first grade student at Steele Elementary School. 

The afternoon and evening before his death, he complained of having a sore throat and Thomas says the findings are consistent with the symptoms Lester presented to the school and his family. 

The death has been ruled as that of natural causes.There will not be a coroner’s inquest.

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