Oliver Lomas, known online as the “Bernie Baby” after he was dressed in a messy wig and large classes to resemble Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, was found dead this week at just 3-months-old.
Pictures of the “Bernie Baby” were popular on social media, blowing up after his mother brought him to a Sanders rally in February where the boy actually got to meet Sanders. Many people had posed with baby Oliver at the event, and his appearance was even captured by an Associated Press photographer assigned to cover the rally in Nevada that day.
But this week his mother, Susan Lomas, shared the devastating news on Facebook that Oliver Lomas had been found dead. His death was reportedly caused by sudden infant death syndrome.
His mother shared funeral plans on Facebook and also wrote a touching message to her son.
“I love you dearly, I love you most. I love you with my heart and soul. I know that God will keep you near since God and truth are here.”
The Lomas family started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the funeral, wake, and burial for Oliver Lomas. The campaign had already surpassed its $16,000 goal, taking in $16,760 as of early Thursday.
The fundraising campaign for the family of the “Bernie Baby” has also been popular with supporters of Bernie Sanders, with many sharing the link online. Others have left comments noting that they came to know Oliver Lomas through his viral pictures dressed as Sanders.
“As I try to do something for Bernie, I read this and I am so devastated to read this,” wrote one person who donated to the GoFundMe page. “I wish I could be next to you and give you hugs and do something. Please know that my prayers are with your family. Sending love light and healing in these very very trying times.”
Our social media accounts will go silent for a period of time in memory of Little Oliver. pic.twitter.com/3MOX5ZDGwZ— BernieSandersBrigade (@BSandersBrigade) February 28, 2016
The family later announced that the campaign had helped to cover the entire costs of baby Oliver’s funeral.
“The out pour of love and support has been overwhelmingly amazing! Thank you to everyone for their donations, words of encouragement, and prayers.”
“Thanks to all of you arrangements have been made for baby Oliver Jack Carter Lomas-Davis aka the Bernie Baby.”
As the CDC noted, close to 3,500 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly in the United States each year. The reasons for these deaths are not fully known, though the CDC noted that suffocation is often the root cause.
“Researchers can’t be sure how often these deaths happen because of accidental suffocation from soft bedding or overlay (another person rolling on top of or against the infant while sleeping). Often, no one sees these deaths, and there are no tests to tell sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) apart from suffocation.To complicate matters, people who investigate SUIDs may report cause of death in different ways and may not include enough information about the circumstances of the event from the death scene.”
Sudden infant death syndrome is defined as the unexpected and sudden death of an infant under the age of 1, the CDC noted. These deaths cannot be explained even after a thorough explanation, and SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants up to 1-year-old.
Many people have taken the death of “Bernie Baby” Oliver Lomas as an opportunity to discuss SIDS and the dangers that parents may not be aware of.
[Image via Facebook]