ST. FRANCIS, S.D. (KELO) — Honor Beauvais was like any average 12-year-old who loved playing Roblox and Minecraft online with his friends and was excited to return to school after winter break.
“He loved his school. He loved his friends. He was all prepared for basketball season, which is going to start right after the new year when they go back to school,” Rose Cordier-Beauvais told KELOLAND News Thursday.
But before he could return to school, Honor passed away on December 15, 2022.
Two weeks ago, as winter storms swept through South Dakota, Honor was at home, sick with a fever. The day before his death, Honor’s grandma said that he was taken to an Indian Health Services hospital with chest pains and trouble breathing which was exacerbated by his asthma.
“His chest hurt so, so bad from the pain, he was just in so much pain and it was terrible,” Cordier-Beauvais said.
Honor was diagnosed with Influenza A and sent home by doctors.
“Gary (Honor’s uncle) had no choice but to take him home,” Cordier-Beauvais said. “So, he had a heck of a time getting a ride home again, three miles away.”
But overnight, Honor’s condition worsened, and the family began calling around for help.
Cordier-Beauvais said that while they struggled to get ahold of emergency services, one friend of the family, Shorty Jordan, came with snow removal equipment to help clear the way for an ambulance to come.
Finally, the family was able to reach ambulance services which came to take Honor back to the IHS hospital where he was finally admitted.
“They worked on and worked on him, but Honor wasn’t strong enough to continue breathing and he died,” Cordier-Beauvais said. “So, I’m very, very angry. I’m mad. I’m sad.”
Honor is one of nine reported deaths on the Rosebud Reservation during the storm. One death was weather-related, according to Todd County Coroner Monica Rahn.
Blocked roads and blizzard conditions may have contributed to other deaths, OJ Semans, a contractor with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, told KELOLAND News.
“Monday night, we lost another individual who was stuck in White River, lived out in the country, kinda like I do. It took them a few hours to open the roads and get to his house. By the time they got there he was sick, they loaded him up and, on the way back, he passed away,” Semans said on Tuesday.
Cordier-Beauvais doesn’t want Honor’s death to be in vain and wishes to see improvement to emergency services in the area in case of events like the recent snow storms.
“It wasn’t only me. I’ve heard of other people, other families who lost loved ones too because of no help,” Cordier-Beauvais said. “[Honor] was dying. He needed help. And it wasn’t there from the tribe or from the health service.”
Honor’s funeral will be held on January 4 in Mission, South Dakota with a caravan being held for him the day before starting at the Rosebud Casino.
“His name is really Yuonihan which means ‘to honor,'” Cordier-Beauvais explained. “And then his middle name is Ihanblé and that means ‘to dream.'”
Cordier-Beauvais remembers her grandson as a “great kid” and fondly recalled his recent 12th birthday party with family where she said he was having a great time.
“And he loves playing online games with his friends from the school,” Cordier-Beauvais said. “His friends really miss him.”
A GoFundMe was started to aid Honor’s family with funeral costs. You can find that here.