Our son, Christian was a healthy, active loving 5-year-old with no history of medical issues. During our normal Sunday morning, he had woken up with a raspy voice and a slight fever. To us, we had thought he might have gotten a cold so we gave him fever/cold medication and he seemed fine afterward. During the evening, he developed a gagging cough where we had thought he was going to throw up. The gagged cough occurred once and eventually, he fell asleep.
About two hours later, he woke up letting us know that he could not breathe. My husband took him to our nearby ER where the physician’s assistant diagnosed him with an asthma attack. After providing him with asthma treatment and an asthma prescription, they sent him home. After he came home, we gave him his breathing treatment and his breathing still did not improve so my husband took him back to the ER. From the second visit, he was in respiratory distress, with croup-like symptoms and the doctor admitted him to the pediatric ward. Christian was put on breathing machines as the doctors thought this will help his lungs open up and would help him breathe. He was also given steroids for the asthmatic virus that the doctor diagnosed him with. He was then moved to the pediatrics ICU for additional monitoring and continued to be hooked onto the breathing machines.
The doctors and the respiratory specialists could not determine the cause of his breathing issues and continued to treat his diagnoses as an asthmatic virus. We spent an entire day in the pediatric ICU until the doctors determined that Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital would have the equipment and specialist to better help Christian’s case. By the time the trauma team had arrived, Christian was unconscious, experiencing internal bleeding and a collapsed lung. Christian’s heart and the lung collapsed 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital. The doctors did everything they could to save him, but Christian passed away on January 25, 2016. This all happened within a day and a half since the morning he woke up with the raspy/fever/cold-like symptoms.
The doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital determined that Christian contracted Influenza B and bacterial (streptococcal & staphylococcal) pneumonia and was overwhelmed by sepsis. (Sepsis and Influenza, Sepsis and Pneumonia) He did receive his annual flu vaccine but somehow still caught the flu. We do believe in the flu vaccine and continue to vaccinate ourselves and our daughter so that situations like this does not repeat. We take flu illness very seriously and though we do not fully understand why it happened and do not understand the symptoms that Christian had, we do understand and know that flu illness can lead to death. We want to share our story and hope we can help prevent what happened to Christian to anyone else. We love Christian very much and miss him tremendously.
Source: Eugenia - mom