Wyatt Gibson loved superheroes so much that he was always wearing a cape. Wyatt, 5, loved horses, dogs, trees, flowers and, really, anything else that kept him outdoors. He loved playing with Legos or blocks, things that let him build. To Wyatt, everything was fun, even trips to the grocery store.
In one video, Wyatt strums a toy guitar and wears cowboy boots, spinning around in the grass and singing, "I love you trees and birds and I love donkeys and I love dogs."
Wyatt's was a life cut short by Covid-19 as case numbers are rising across the country, driven largely by the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
Now a northwest Georgia family mourns the loss of the boy who "brought joy to everything," his godmother said.
"He loved everybody. I mean, he never met a stranger," Amanda Summey, Wyatt's godmother, said through tears. "Everything was fun. It didn't matter what it was. He was my little boy's best friend.
"He was perfect. He was absolutely perfect," she said, her voice breaking.
Wyatt died in his mother's arms Friday in a children's hospital after he got sick with the coronavirus and had a stroke, according to Summey and a statement by Andrea Mitchell, Wyatt's maternal grandmother.
"We'd been so careful this whole time for it to find us now? He was fighting for his very life," Mitchell wrote. "His mother, up for 4 days, never leaving between cajoling him to keep moving and fighting and begging him to stay. His father, the backbone of the family, coughing from Covid now himself stood beside in silent worry, beyond believing what he was seeing."
Mitchell said Wyatt had his "whole life ahead of him to live" to become whomever he wanted to be.
"Whatever he could have brought to this world now, gone," she said.
The delta variant now accounts for more than 83 percent of Covid-19 cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday, and medical experts warn that unvaccinated populations, including young children, are among the most vulnerable people.
Covid-19 vaccines have been authorized on an emergency basis only for people ages 12 and up in the U.S. As of Thursday, more than 4 million children had been diagnosed with Covid-19, about 14.2 percent of all cases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nearly 340 children ages 17 and younger have died from Covid-19, according to the latest data from the CDC, although serious complications in children remain very rare.
Mitchell and Summey described Wyatt as having been healthy before he became sick with the coronavirus.
"He was so healthy and happy," Summey said. "I mean, he's had the sniffles here and there, but nothing ever. It just got a hold of him, and it just took him. It's crazy."
Summey said the family is heartbroken.
"I keep saying they're just shells of what were human beings. It's like their soul is gone," she said.
Mitchell said in her statement that "all we know is a bright light has left" and that Wyatt has "left rainbows everywhere for us to see."
"There was so much life in this 5-year-old boy. So much joy. So maybe it's not the quantity of life that we will miss. But the quality of life. That was pure bliss," she said.