I watched the whole video on the CNN health website in tears. The lovely little girl who was active and smiled a lot lost her sight after the serious flu affected her brain and left her in hospital for 2 weeks. Beyond anything I would like to express, if you haven’t got your kid vaccinated, Do It NOW.
It’s a serious flu season, and we have to protect the vulnerable kids.
From December 19 to December 23, the little girl, Jade, experienced a low-grade fever which was brought down easily by medicine. Her mother did not notice any sign that could indicate there was something seriously wrong with her, so she did not take her to hospital, thinking it was “a little bug.”
In the morning of December 24, however, Jade’s parents found Jade lying in bed burning hot and unresponsive. They rushed to the emergency room in Covenant Medical Center, when Jade’s body started shaking uncontrollably, and her eyes rolled to the back of her head.
Doctors said she needed to be transferred to the children’s hospital at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, about 80 miles away. There was no time for an ambulance, and Jade was taken there with a helicopter.
On Christmas Day, doctors found the flu had affected Jade’s brain, which was called encephalopathy, a complication of the flu. According to the doctors, Jade had “significant brain damage” and might never wake up.
The diagnosis result showed that Jade had acute necrotizing encephalopathy, or ANE, a type of encephalopathy usually caused by a viral infection. Jade’s mother searched for studies on this rare disease, only finding one study looking at 4 children with ANE, under which situation 3 of them died. The mom was despairing.
A New Year’s Gift
On New Year day, the family visited Jade at the hospital, and found that Jade woke up.
“She’s got her eyes open. She’s looking around. We got a couple of hand squeezes! And then we got a smile!” Said Jade’s mother.
Over the next few days, Jade became better, but that’s when her parents and doctors noticed something.
Blindness caused by flu
Jade wasn’t looking at things in front of her, and an ophthalmologist examined her eyes.
Everything looked fine, and doctors concluded that the problem was not with her eyes, but her nerves in brain which had suffered because of the flu.
"It affected the part of her brain that perceives sight, and we don't know if she's going to get her vision back," said Czech, Jade's neurologist. "In about three to six months from now we'll know. Whatever recovery she has at six months, that's likely all she's going to get."
If you haven’t got your kid vaccinated, Do It Now
Jade and her older sister got vaccinated in January 2019. Her mother thought the vaccine would be effective for a whole year and did not realize that she should get another one for the 2019-2020 flu season.
What parents need to know is that a vaccine is very effective at preventing children from becoming so sick from flu that there are life-threatening complications. And according to experts, it’s not too late to get a vaccine now. so if your kid hasn’t got a flu shot, do not leave anything to chance, take the shot now.