A Queensland couple have welcomed a son just days after their toddler daughter died from Covid.
Ruby Grace Edwards’ life was cut tragically short last Sunday after the virus triggered a rare and aggressive auto-immune condition, her dad Steven Edwards said.
She was just two weeks shy of her second birthday and days away from meeting her little brother Levi, who her grieving parents welcomed on Friday.
Mr Edwards announced the newborn’s birth in an emotional Facebook post.
“We’re just in awe of him and know his big sister Ruby is watching over us as he was safely guided into this world,” the dad wrote.
“We are deeply humbled and thankful for all the well wishes, support and generosity we have received during this dark time.
“Levi brings with him hope and light, a promise of happy times as we look to the future. We've got a long road ahead of us but each day with him in our arms and Ruby in our hearts, it will get easier.”
Photos show Mr Edwards and his wife Krystal Edwards smiling as Levi rests on her chest. In one image, Mrs Edwards appears to be wiping away tears.
A GoFundMe has been created to help the family as they try to heal from the heartbreak of losing their eldest child.
Toddler's Covid death rips family's world apart
Ruby’s death came as a shock to the couple, who were eagerly preparing for the arrival of their son when she fell ill and was diagnosed with Covid on July 14.
“She became suddenly unwell, eventually testing positive for Covid,” Mr Edwards wrote on Facebook the day after her death.
The virus then triggered a “rare auto-immune condition” named Acute Hemorrhagic Leukoencephalitis, prompting Ruby's immune system to attack her brain and other vital functions, he added.
“She fought long and hard but unfortunately, the condition was too aggressive, ruthless and relentless,” the dad said.
“Thanks to her treatment, we don’t believe she suffered any pain during her fight and was able to leave this world peacefully.”
Mr Edwards said his daughter’s death had ripped the family’s world apart.
“This is supposed to be such a happy time where our family would become complete but is now so broken,” he said.
“I am not sure how but we need to navigate this grief as best we can.”
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.