5-year-old Shoshone girl passes away following complications attributed to RSV, family says

Family friend Erica Jacobson says she hopes this reminds people that RSV is serious and here in the Magic Valley.
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:06 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:26 PM MST
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SHOSHONE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The community is mourning the loss of 5-year-old Shoshone Girl, Willow Edwards, who passed away from complications due to RSV and Pneumonia, the family says.

Family friend Erica Jacobson says Willow was a bright light in this world and could always put a smile on other’s faces.

“There is so much about her, she was so charismatic and just a big ball of light in such a little person, for as young as she was, she could have the best quality of conversation and always could make a person smile even when she was angry,” said Erica Jacobson, who is close friends with Willow’s parents.

She got sick in December and never got better.

“On Wednesday, is when her mom noticed her heavy breathing, and her hard to breathe, the gasp, that’s when she went into that panic and took her to the hospital,” said Jacobson.

After being life-flighted to Boise, Willow passed away. The family says the RSV turned into pneumonia. Jacobson says as a mother and close friend to the family, this is heartbreaking.

“It’s hard to lose people that have lived their life and gone through everything, and where Willow didn’t even get a chance at that, just because she didn’t have enough time, she wasn’t strong enough it’s a hard one,” said Jacobson.

Jacobson says she hopes this reminds people that RSV is serious and here in the Magic Valley.

The South Central Public Health District says the death hasn’t been confirmed to them yet, but RSV is very common in young children, and it can get severe very quickly.

“If their symptoms are getting really really bad, they aren’t eating anything, not willing to get out of bed at all, coupled with that shortness of breath, and not drinking water, that’s the time to go to the doctor,” said Jacob Ward, an epidemiologist with the SCPHD.

Friends of the family have set up a Venmo account to help the family with expenses. The name is @Wishes-forWillow.

The family has set up an account at Zion’s Bank under “Willow Edwards Donation Account.”

Data on RSV in Idaho can be found at this link.