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Whooping cough claims life of Okla. infant

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma family is mourning the loss of their infant son; he lost the battle against whooping cough Monday afternoon.

Around noon, 7-week-old Aiden Smith was taken of a machine that was helping his heart and lungs function.

Doctors expected Aiden to pass away shortly after they cut off the machine, he died an hour later.

The Smith family has spent the past four weeks in a waiting room at Children's Hospital hoping for a miracle and healing for Aiden.

His aunt Sarah Simpson said, "From pertussis, Aiden had pneumonia and his lungs collapsed."

A series of issues all starting with one diagnosis, pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

Doctors said the main cases tend to come from family members.

But Aiden's family is sure that's not the case here.

While he is still too young for the vaccine, every member of this newborn's family had been vaccinated.

Still just three weeks into his life, he was rushed from Elk City to Children's Hospital and put on life-saving machines.

Simpson said, "Our community has come together and supported us and they've helped us get through it but most of all, it's our faith in God that's helped us."

That faith has had them not only singing songs of praise in the waiting room but using Facebook, asking people in all 50 states to pray for this baby.

Simpson said, "It's been amazing to see how God can take an infant that can't walk or talk but he can change people's lives."

Arm bands, t-shirts and even necklaces all made to show the love and support behind this family.

Though Simpson said it's not just about praying for this child, it's about using his little life to show others, especially anyone over the age of eleven, how important it is to get a booster vaccine to prevent future cases of pertussis.

She said, "It's just important. It's important to get. It saves lives."

Monday, Aiden's family said their goodbyes when doctors took him off life support.

Elk City Prayer Meeting for Aiden

The community is gathering at City Hall in Elk City (320 W 3rd St.) Monday at 7 p.m. for a "Meet at the Pole" prayer meeting.
A testimony to the way 7-week-old Aiden was able to bring people together from all walks of life.

50 For Aiden

The family has worked to organize an event in Elk City this weekend to raise money for Aiden's family.

They are also hoping to get their local health department to come out to the event and offer the pertussis vaccine.

You can follow their progress on Facebook here