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'Covid ripped through him': Mum's heartbreak as child dies

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Jan 2022, 9:40am
(Photo / Supplied)
(Photo / Supplied)

'Covid ripped through him': Mum's heartbreak as child dies

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Jan 2022, 9:40am

The mother of a 3-year-old boy who became the youngest person in NSW to die following a devastating battle with Covid says he was a gentle soul who loved everyone he met. 

Sebastian Moroney passed away peacefully his home in Campbelltown on January 7, 15 days after he was diagnosed with Covid. 

Born with a rare genetic condition known as Niemann-Pick, Sebastian was not expected to live beyond a few years, his mother Jordana Moroney said. 

"He was palliative with the existing condition so we knew we were on borrowed time," she told NCA NewsWire. 

"But he had defied so much about what they said about when we would lose him, we became hopeful. He kept breaking the rules." 

Moroney said two weeks before Sebastian tested positive on December 23, his baby sister Liora was born. 

Sebastian Moroney pictured. Sebastian had a rare genetic condition and died after catching Covid. Photo / Supplied 

The family had to be separated over Christmas and on Sebastian's third birthday while Moroney's wife Erin and their son isolated in hospital with Covid. 

"Liora was born on December 10, my dad passed away two days before and it's just been a rollercoaster of bizarre feelings. 

"I love her so much and we're happy she's here but we're grieving at the same time. 

"In the end it was very peaceful, he passed in his sleep. We had been scared for a really long time about how he would go and in the end he just slipped away." 

Sebastian was "the sweetest thing", Moroney said. 

"He had a gentle spirit, he loved everybody and he loved music. 

"We were so careful to keep him away from anything that could hurt him as far as germs and anything because he was so vulnerable. We took every precaution we could. 

"He lived to see his little sister, he lived to Christmas, he made it to his birthday. He had been getting weaker by inches for a long time because of his degenerative condition, but Covid just ripped through him and it changed everything." 

Moroney praised the healthcare teams at Westmead Children's and Campbelltown hospitals for the care they provided throughout Sebastian's life. 

"They're why we had him as long as we did, they offered us a lot of support," she said. 

"The paediatric ambulatory care team helped him every week so that we didn't have to take him around people and risk infection. They came out anytime we called. 

"He loved the nurses even when they had to do stuff that wasn't fun." 

To help other children in need and to carry on Sebastian's legacy, the Moroneys decided to encourage donations to Westmead Children's Hospitals refugee clinic. 

Sebastian's death was confirmed on Monday, as NSW recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic. 

The state reported 18 deaths on Monday, beating its previous record of 16 deaths confirmed just a day earlier, as 20,293 new Covid-19 cases were identified. 

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said an unvaccinated eastern Sydney man aged in his 30s died at Prince of Wales Hospital in the same reporting period. 

"The gentlemen in his 30s was not vaccinated," Chant said. 

NSW on Sunday surpassed its previous record of 15 deaths set on September 29 and October 1 last year during the Delta outbreak. 

NSW has recorded 745 Covid deaths since the pandemic began. 

There are now 2030 people in NSW hospitals with the virus, with 159 in intensive care, up from 1927 and 151 patients respectively on Sunday. 

There were 84,333 PCR tests processed in the latest reporting period, in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, a decline on recent weeks as people avoid long queues and heed government pleas to take rapid antigen tests where possible. 

Chant said Monday's case numbers were "clearly an underestimate" as people transitioned to rapid antigen tests (RATs). 

Premier Dominic Perrottet has said people in his state will be able to log their positive rapid test results through Service NSW from Wednesday. 

This will see NSW follow Queensland and Victoria in counting rapid tests in the daily Covid-19 tally and give a much more accurate indication of the case numbers and infection rate. 

Recorded case numbers are likely to increase significantly once NSW begins logging RAT results, in line with Victoria's big jump in cases late last week. 

Victoria recorded 34,808 new Covid cases and two deaths on Monday. 

NSW hospitals remain under significant pressure with high numbers of hospitalisations and the loss of many medical staff to Covid-19 isolation requirements. 

New infections in the Omicron-fuelled outbreak are expected to peak in the third or fourth week of January before they begin to decline next month, according to government modelling. 

Perrottet has said the state is in for a "difficult few weeks" with cases expected to climb even higher. 

He urged people to continue to come forward for vaccination, saying half of the 159 patients in ICU were unvaccinated. 

"The numbers don't lie. The best way of staying safe, keeping safe, is getting boosted," he told reporters. 

Australia's coronavirus vaccine rollout for 5 to 11-year-old children began on Monday. 

Of the over 16 population in NSW, 93.7 per cent are double-dose vaccinated while 95.1 per cent have had at least one shot. 

- by Catie McLeod and Ryan Young, news.com.au