IOWA (CNN) – On Christmas Eve, a happy, healthy 4-year-old girl with flu had to be flown to a children’s hospital for life.
Jade Delecia had a flu called influenza B. This type of flu is spreading rapidly across the country and experts say children are the most susceptible to it.
“I didn’t think I would see her again. I really didn’t at that point,” said Jade’s mother.
In the children’s intensive care unit, Jade did not respond and a ventilator breathed for her.
“Influenza B activates their own immune systems, attacks their own organs, especially the brain, and causes brain swelling,” said Dr. Aditya Badheka.
For days, Jade’s mom and dad hadn’t known what the future would bring. Her doctors feared that she could not make it.
“It just hurts and it pulls your heart out because you just want her to wake up,” said Jade’s mother, Amanda Phillips.
Jade woke up almost two weeks later.
It felt like a miracle until the doctors noticed something. Jade couldn’t see it.
The flu caused inflammation in her brain and may blind her forever.
Jade went home from the hospital on January 9th.
Phillips gave her daughters the flu shot in March 2019. She didn’t know that flu shots weren’t good for a whole year.
As the flu changes from year to year, the vaccine also changes. Flu vaccines will be available in late summer, and the CDC recommends ordering a vaccine by the end of October to protect yourself from the flu in the coming winter.