THE father of a two-year-old boy who died in a Perth hospital after the flu virus “spread like wildfire” has paid tribute to his son, describing him as the love of his life.
Elijah David Huynh, from Karratha in Western Australia’s north, died on Tuesday at Perth Children’s Hospital.
It has been an early and particularly severe start to the flu season in WA, with 41 flu-related deaths compared to four at the same time last year.
Grieving father Dave Huynh posted photographs on Facebook and said he loved his son unconditionally.
“Having to say goodbye to you so soon just doesn’t feel real,” he wrote.
“You were and still are the love of our lives, we couldn’t thank you enough for making us the happiest parents in the world.
“You taught us a lot in such a short period, which we will (be) eternally grateful for.
“We will always remember the amazing times we spent together.
“Thanks for making our lives mean so much. You will always have my heart.”
In other posts, Mr Huynh said he felt helpless and was in a “constant nightmare”.
A GoFundMe page set up for the family has so far raised more than $18,000 to cover medical and funeral expenses.
“The devastating effects of the Influenza A virus spread like wildfire overnight and without any warning signs,” the page read.
“Although his life was cut short at just over two years old, the memories he gave us will be cherished for a lifetime. His beautiful cheeky smile will be missed.”
His parents also have a baby girl, who is a few months old.
The WA Health Department has not confirmed Elijah died from flu-related illness.