Asher Sullivan, Son of County Schools Director, Passes Away Saturday

May 18, 2024 at 10:50 pm by WGNS News

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN - The son of the Director of the Rutherford County Schools has passed away after becoming trapped in a storm drain (See previous news story here). Asher Sullivan, the 10-year-old son of Dr. Jimmy Sullivan, died on Saturday afternoon, just before 1:30 at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville. 

Dr. Sullivan posted on his Facebook page Saturday: Asher officially passed away this afternoon around 1:20 pm. I say officially because of the events of the last 36 hours:


Asher had one brain stem reflex remaining the last few days that kept him from officially being declared brain dead/deceased. The doctors had told us that they didn’t expect that reflex to go away, but that further improvement beyond maybe a finger moving was not possible. That left Kaycee and I with an impossible decision that deep down we knew we wouldn’t make.

We asked for an additional MRI and that was conducted late Thursday. Kaycee and I met with the neurologists a few rooms away from Asher around 11 yesterday (Friday) morning to have an in-depth discussion. The MRI actually showed further progression of brain damage from five days earlier. 

While we were away, Asher’s vitals crashed. His pulse and blood pressure became erratic, he lost the ability to control temperature, and the eye response ceased. Our sweet boy did what Asher has always done, he put others first. No longer did Kaycee and I have to make an impossible decision. Instead, he made it for us while we were out of the room. The doctors performed two extremely in-depth tests that Kaycee and I watched separated by 24 hours. No parent should have to watch this, but we knew for our hearts, we had to. The results showed us what we already knew, that our sweet Asher was already gone. 

We are broken-hearted, mad, and every other emotion at the same time. 

We are still at Vanderbilt as we’ve decided to have Asher bring life to others as an organ donor. He remains on life support bc of that decision for a few days. It’s 100% an “Asher” type thing to do in continuing to be selfless. He will have an honor walk at the hospital in the next few days and be celebrated as he is, a hero!

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