Daequan Wimberly, 11, pictured right with his adoptive dad Bishop Jerry Lee Wimberly, became the youngest person to die of coronavirus in Florida after he succumbed to the disease on Tuesday (Pictures: GoFundMe)

A ‘charismatic’ 11 year-old boy with serious disabilities has become the youngest person in Florida to die of coronavirus. Daequan Wimberly died at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on Tuesday, with his adoptive 74 year-old father unable to be by his side because he is in another hospital battling the same virus.

The youngster’s dad, Bishop Jerry Lee Wimberly, fostered Daequan when he was just a year old and suffering from severe physical disabilities, as well as a kidney issue which meant he had to have dialysis three times a week. When Bishop Wimberly began caring for the youngster he could barely sit up.

The little boy also suffered from rickets as a toddler, but began to thrive with his new family, who adopted him when he was four. Daequan’s sunny personality also shone through, and he became a much-loved member of his family and local church who was known for his love of dressing-up.

Recalling the last time he saw Daequan a fortnight ago, Bishop Wimberly said: ‘Before I left the emergency room, he was having trouble breathing. They gave him quite a few doses of some kind of inhaler which calmed his breathing.’

Bishop Wimberly, who spoke to a Miami Herald reporter over the phone from hospital, said he wasn’t sure where Dequean might have picked up coronavirus.

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He attended a special needs school three times a week and also had multiple hospital appointments for dialysis. The grieving dad said: ‘Because of his habits, we don’t know. He’d ride the school bus three time a week,.

‘At the hospital, he’d sit around and rub paper on his face and put it in his mouth.’

Bishop Wimberly is set to be released from hospital this week, and will then work on planning Daequan’s funeral. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise cash to pay for it.

Florida has seen a huge spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, and recorded an all-time high one day diagnoses of 10,109 new cases on July 2. The Sunshine State has diagnosed a total of 179,000 people, and seen close to 3,700 Covid-19 deaths.

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Source: Metro