LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Update: Mary Herndon, Evelyn's grandmother, told us Friday afternoon that 8-month-old Evelyn had passed after her battle with COVID-19.
"Evelyn is with Jesus," Claire, Evelyn's mother, said in a Facebook post announcing her daughter's passing.
"We are grateful to have been your mommy and daddy. We love you sweet baby, we will see you again one day."
Sharing the number of COVID-19 cases that the state sees each day is important: but it can't truly show the direct impact the virus is having on families.
This surge has been especially heartbreaking because of its severity in infecting children.
The Simpson family has an empty nursery right now. Family grandma, Mary Herndon, described the house that's usually filled with a lot of love, as way too quiet.
This week, the youngest of the bunch, Evelyn, tested positive for COVID-19.
At 8-months-old and with chronic health conditions, she is one of the most vulnerable with treatments that are limited because of her age.
"You can't put her on a tracheostomy tube and vent, because she is already on one. So, there's just no back up plan," said Mary Herndon, Evelyn's grandmother.
Right now, she's fighting for her life in the pediatric intensive care unit. Only mom can go in and see her.
"It's a hard reality," said Herndon. "Lots of decisions for mom to make by herself and she's tired and alone and it's horrible. COVID is horrible all the way around."
The family asks people to think about how you can protect others: from wearing a mask, to getting vaccinated, to social distancing. Thinking about those who can't protect themselves.
"For having Evie in our lives, for us to love our neighbor as our self, means it's not about my personal choice, because when I say it's just about me I'm making the choice for her. She doesn't have a choice," said Herndon.
Evelyn's mother, Claire, said she is still in intensive care, but they are hopeful as her oxygen levels are up.