GA Family Mourns 'Joyous' 5-year-Old Boy Who Died From COVID-19
Wyatt Gibson’s death is a painful reminder that the pandemic is far from over — especially for the unvaccinated
For many people in the U.S. who have been vaccinated, it feels almost like the pandemic is over. Bars, restaurants, and other businesses are open. So are museums, concert halls, and theaters. People largely go maskless in their day-to-day lives. But for those who haven’t been vaccinated — especially children who can’t receive a vaccine yet — so much danger still remains. The heartbreaking death of a 5-year-old Georgia boy from a COVID infection is all the proof of that we need.
Wyatt Gibson suffered a stroke and died on July 16 in a Chattanooga, Tennessee, hospital where he was being treated for COVID. At the time of his death, he was intubated because he couldn’t breathe properly on his own. Before COVID, Wyatt was a healthy little boy, his family said. When he got sick, they thought he had a stomach bug — until he just didn’t get better.
“There are no words….he was my ‘all days every days,'” Wyatt’s mom, Alexis Gibson, wrote on Facebook. “Wyatt was nothing but pure love and the perfect overload of happiness. We see you everywhere we look Bitty Wy and I still feel you holding my hand. I know you’re here with us, and thank you for guiding us home yesterday with those 5 beautiful rainbows, each one bigger than the last. God’s got you building all kinds of things already.”
His dad, Wes Gibson, also shared a loving tribute, filled with photos of Wyatt.
“Wyatt was nothing [but] joy and happiness. We loved having fun and going on adventures together. He loved his momma and his sister so very much, and he was always looking for ways to help,” Wes Gibson wrote.
His godmother Amanda Summey described Wyatt as “the most loving, joyous kid.”
“He was so helpful and just the best big brother,” she said. “He wanted to do whatever he could to help.”
Wyatt’s family lives in the part of Georgia that’s represented by Marjorie Taylor Green, a Qanon believer, anti-vaxxer, and anti-masker. Green has been outspoken about mask requirements for kids in schools, even though many children, including Wyatt, are still too young to get vaccinated.
The delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up around 80 percent of all U.S. infections, public health officials estimate. Delta is much more contagious than previous variants, but experts are also seeing evidence that it makes young people, who have been mostly spared from the worst of COVID-19, sicker. In hot spots like Mississippi, doctors have already sounded the alarm that they’re seeing more kids in ICUs than they have at any other point in the pandemic.