Twelve-year-old Dylan Winnik seemed like any boy his age when he attended a birthday party in Wellington last Saturday. His family thought he might have had a cold coming on, but they would never have imagined that the young South Florida boy would die in just a couple of days.
Dylan spent time with his mother in Coral Springs and lived in West Palm Beach with his father, Sergio Winnik.
Winnik said his son was fighting a fever and complained of pain in his chest on Monday, but attended school anyway. On Tuesday, Okeehelee Middle School 7th-grader stayed home.
According to reports, a neighbor called 9-1-1 around noon on Tuesday. That’s when Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the 4600 block of Sunset Lane and found Dylan Winnik dead.
The coroner will perform an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.
Family members describe Dylan as an intelligent boy who was always busy with his two bothers.
Dylan’s 16-year-old brother, Sebastian Roa, has spoken out asking anyone who thinks they may have flu symptoms to get medical help. “The flu is no joke. So we want people to seek that medical attention if you feel like you have a cold or you feel you’re sick, like don’t hesitate.”
Parents at Okeeheelee Middle School in West Palm Beach received a letter from the school stating that Dylan passed away as a result of an illness. Some parents have expressed concerns for their children and exposure to the seemingly deadly virus.
The middle school says it has professional counselors for those who need them.
According to Florida state officials, two children are confirmed to have died from this season’s flu virus.
Dylan’s family has set up a GoFundMe page for those wishing to help with funeral expenses and support for Dylan’s brothers.
We will continue to follow this story.