A 7-year-old girl in Colorado died Sunday after battling flu symptoms that left her hospitalized in a coma for seven weeks. She did not get vaccinated against the flu.
Selina Nguyen, from Denver, started feeling sick just before Christmas. Her health declined over the next two days, and on Dec. 23 she went into a coma and was rushed to the hospital.
Her family learned that Nguyen had the H1N1 flu virus, and were “praying for a miracle,” a friend wrote on a GoFundMe page. But her brain was unresponsive for those seven weeks, and surgeries to relieve the pressure in her skull had no effect.
Nguyen’s family worked with the hospital to try “every avenue” to help the “loving, kind hearted and giving child,” but after weeks without any brain activity they had to make the “difficult decision” to take her off life support. She passed away on Feb. 10 with her family by her side.
According to the GoFundMe page, Nguyen’s family wants people to understand the danger of going without a flu shot, and advised that parents take their kids to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
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Though the Centers for Disease Control say that this flu season is milder than last year’s extremely deadly outcome, there is still a severe risk. Midway through January, 6 to 7 million people had already been diagnosed with the flu, and 16 children had died. Colorado is also one of 24 states in the U.S. with high levels of influenza-like illness.
Nguyen’s funeral service and memorial will be held on Saturday and Sunday, and the money raised from the GoFundMe page — which is now well past its goal of $5,000 — will go to her medical costs. Any remainder will be donated to charity, “because that is what Selina would have wanted.”
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