Minnesota man, 39, dies of COVID-19: How to help 6-year-old son

A Minnesota family is mourning the loss of their son and brother who lost his weeks-long battle with COVID-19.

Barb Clifton is going to miss fall Sundays in front of the TV with her son Jesse.

Jesse’s sisters swear their older brother was the biggest Vikings fan around.

"He was probably on the obsession side, not just a love...we would watch the Vikings games together," said his sister Undria Davis.

Jesse Clifton was rushed to the hospital on Nov. 15 where he was treated for COVID-19. The virus wreaked havoc on the 39-year-old diabetic. For a month, he was treated inside the ICU while his family prayed for a miracle.

Jesse’s sister Erika Clifton recalled a sobering conversation with her brother’s lead doctor as his condition deteriorated.

"He said ‘Jesse will probably not survive this,’ and that was hard to hear because he is a fighter and he fought tooth and nail to the very end."

Jesse died at the hospital on Dec. 22. His family is now beginning the agonizing process of saying goodbye with a visitation, while Jesse’s funeral is set for Tuesday.

"For me, I guess I just thought he was going to come through. And I know how hard of a fighter he is, and he just doesn’t quit. He lives big. How could this be it?" Undria said. "We don’t want this to be all sad because it’s better that we all knew Jesse, and our lives are much improved from knowing him. We have to celebrate that."

The Cliftons have a giant support network in their hometown of Buffalo and said they’ve had their spirits lifted over the last month by the outpouring of love and prayers they’ve received.

Now, the family is focused on making sure Jesse’s six-year-old son Connor knows how much his father meant to all the lives he touched.

"Connor is the light of Jesse’s life, definitely his most proud moment. He loved that kid and still loves that kid so very much," Erika said.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family, which can be found here.