12-Year-Old Boy Dies from COVID-19 While Holding His Sister's Hand: 'I Just Didn't Want Him to Be Alone'

Aedan Selph became one of New Mexico's youngest COVID-19 victims when he died on Tuesday at the Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque

Aedan Selph
Aedan Selph. Photo: GoFundMe

Members of a New Mexico family are in mourning after losing their 12-year-old boy to the novel coronavirus.

Aedan Selph became one of the state's youngest COVID-19 victims when he died on Tuesday at the Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque after contracting the virus, according to The Albuquerque Journal.

His older sister, Evelyn Wolfe, told the outlet she learned that Aedan was "not going to make it" just as she was preparing to leave the hospital.

Rushing back to the intensive care unit where her brother was being treated, Wolfe was the first in her family to finish putting on the protective equipment required for a bedside visitation. She was able to hold Aedan's hand as he took his final breath.

"I went in there and said a prayer over him and held his hand in my hand while he took his last breath," she recalled. "I just didn’t want him to be alone. I knew it was coming. I just couldn’t let my little brother be alone. Nobody should be alone when that happens."

According to the Wolfe, Aedan contracted coronavirus when their 66-year-old father, an essential worker, unknowingly brought it home.

She told CNN that Aedan — who was born premature, blind and dealt with brain swelling, scoliosis and seizures — did have a preexisting medical condition, but it was "managed" prior to his hospitalization.

"If it was not for coronavirus, if it was not for COVID, my brother would still be here," she said. "It can affect anybody — whether you're healthy, whether you do have an underlying condition. What I want people to think about is, 'Yeah, you might be okay right now, but you don't know what the person next to you has at home.' "

Both Aedan and their father fell ill on Sunday and were admitted to ICU, where they tested positive for COVID-19, Wolfe said.

According to local news station KOB4, Wolfe's mother and two other siblings tested positive tested positive for the virus as well.

Wolfe told CNN on Friday that her father has since been released from the hospital, though coronavirus has "hit my family as a whirlwind."

"My brother was our light — the most unconditionally loving little boy — and that light's gone now," she said. "I'm trying to keep my parents together and my siblings together, reminding them of the good times and everything my brother did stand for in our family."

A GoFundMe page has been created to support the family and raise funds for Aedan's funeral costs.

As of Friday, there have been more than 11,883,100 COVID-19 cases and 253,200 coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, according to a New York Times database.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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