A teenager from Ohio fell ill with flu on Christmas Eve. She died on New Year’s Eve.
In the last few weeks, nearly 40 children have died from the flu because the virus is spreading early in the US.
Kaylee Roberts is one of the newest children who succumbs to the virus.
“She was a healthy, happy, normal 16-year-old,” said Kaylee’s uncle, Matthew Roberts told CNN.
“We knew she had the flu, but we thought it would hit her on her ass for a few days and she’d get better.” We never expected such a serious outcome. ”
Kaylee Roberts from Ohio developed the flu days before Christmas and died of the infection at the age of 16
This year the flu has risen much faster than normal, and it has been particularly unpleasant for children.
An unusual species – influenza B – was unexpectedly dominant.
The immune system of children and teenagers is less likely to have been exposed to this species before, which means that they have no antibodies that have been built up.
This strain is good for 28 pediatric deaths this year so far. Influenza A viruses have killed 11 children.
It is not clear which strain of the virus Kaylee had.
Doctors know why B viruses tend to cause more infections – and more serious – in children, but it is not clear why the disease becomes so severe for some, not others, with the exception of children with a differently weakened immune system.
Kaylee relieved her symptoms for a few days, but towards the late Christmas Eve her parents were worried.
They hurried Kaylee to the ER. It wasn’t long before doctors there confirmed that she had the flu.
Her uncle told CNN that the doctors had made it difficult for her father not to have Kaylee vaccinated against the flu this season.
Despite the diagnosis of the flu, Kaylee felt good enough to celebrate Christmas with her family after a trip to the hospital
The virus had left Kaylee considerably dehydrated, so the hospital staff left her overnight to give her IV fluids.
In the morning they sent her on her way with a Tamiflu recipe.
Liquids seemed to have done the teenager well. She even told her parents that she had Christmas in her aunt’s house.
Her uncle remembers the girl’s cough that day and that she looked a little sick.
“But just like the normal sick,” Matthew told CNN.
“I didn’t look at her or imagine she was nearly dead.”
After a day of rest, Kaylee still seemed worried sick.
The next day her parents brought her back to the ER. An x-ray of her lungs looked good.
On December 30, Kaylee was diagnosed with pneumonia, a complication of her flu, and placed on a ventilator. The next day doctors told her father, Chris (right) that Kaylee was ‘gone’
But they didn’t stay that long. Two days later, another x-ray at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland showed that the virus had caused pneumonia.
Still she managed to take a selfie, and the family was optimistic.
On December 30, she suddenly stopped breathing and had to be intubated.
From that moment Kaylee was only kept alive by a fan.
The next day the unthinkable happened.
Kaylee, who had looked happy and healthy a week earlier, had “disappeared,” doctors told their families.
“My brother called out,” No, what do you mean? ” He screamed and moaned and screamed. I had never seen him like that, “Matthew said.
“We were all there when they removed her from the machines.
“I tried to hold my brother up. He broke because this was his baby. I did my best to stay strong and help him, but most of us just lost it. “
The family has one GoFundMe to help cover the costs of treatment received by Kaylee and her funeral.