(CNN) — A family in Georgia is in mourning after a 5-year-old boy, described as having “nothing but pure love,” died just days after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Wyatt Gibson suffered a stroke and died July 16 at a Chattanooga, Tennessee, hospital where he was intubated because he had trouble breathing and his oxygen levels were low, his godmother Amanda Summey told CNN.
He was a healthy child and his parents thought he had suffered from mild food poisoning or a stomach virus when he first became ill, according to a statement from the family.
The family said they noticed Wyatt’s tongue was white on July 12 and rushed him to the local emergency room where he was diagnosed with strep, staph and covid-19.
“There are no words,” Wyatt’s mother Alexis Gibson wrote on Facebook. “Wyatt was nothing but pure love and the perfect happiness overload. We see you everywhere we look at Bitty Wy and I still feel you holding my hand.”
The post featured a video of Wyatt hanging around outside in a great pair of cowboy boots, playing his guitar and singing a made-up song about things he loved.
“I lost my best friend,” Wyatt’s dad Wes Gibson wrote on Facebook.
“We loved having fun and having adventures together. He loved his mom and sister very much, and was always looking for ways to help,” she wrote, adding that Wyatt liked to greet people at grocery stores because he knew they were going to be there. it would brighten the day.
Wyatt’s father and 8-month-old sister Alyssa also tested positive for COVID-19, along with his maternal grandmother, who was at the home, according to Summey.
Summey said he took over Alyssa on Friday and is now in quarantine. The test came back negative for covid-19 and he has no symptoms.
Wyatt was too young to receive the vaccine, which is only approved for children over the age of 12.
Summey said she does not know if other members of the Gibson family were vaccinated.
Only about 38% of Georgia residents are fully vaccinated, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Georgia has reported 1,153,064 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 21,593 deaths, including 120 in Gordon County, where the Gibson family lives.
Child deaths and hospitalizations remain rare: The Georgia Department of Public Health reports 11 deaths of children under the age of 18.
The number of pediatric COVID-19 cases is on the rise, which worries health officials as children in the United States prepare to go back to school in the coming weeks.
The American Academy of Pediatrics said 23,500 cases of children were reported between July 8 and 15, representing 15.9% of the cases reported during the week.
Wyatt’s family is in quarantine as they struggle to make sense of their loss, Summey said.
“I wasn’t supposed to have children, so Wyatt, he was my son before I could have a child,” Summey said. “That is why I am the godmother.”
He described Wyatt as the best friend of his 3-year-old son and “the most loving and cheerful boy,” who thought everything was fun.
He even responded with an excited “Yay!” when it was time to go shopping, Summey said.
“He was very helpful and just the best older brother,” she said. “I wanted to do everything I could to help.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism