KEY POINTS

  • 4-year-old Iowa girl was hospitalized after contracting the flu ahead of Christmas and suffered a seizure
  • She suffered brain damage and blindness as a result of encephalopathy, a flu-related swelling of the brain
  • Parents had reportedly vaccinated her for the flu in March but did not know they needed to vaccinate her again for the 2019-2020 flu season

Parents of a young Iowa girl who went blind after contracting the flu are urging others to ensure themselves and their loved ones are properly vaccinated.

Jade DeLucia, 4, was blinded after developing encephalopathy caused by the flu ahead of Christmas. She had reportedly not been vaccinated for the 2019-20 flu season, despite being receiving a vaccination in March for the virus. Her parents reportedly didn’t realize she needed another shot for the next flu season, and are urging people to not make the mistake they did and stay up to date with their vaccinations.

“If I can stop one child from getting sick, that’s what I want to do,” Jade’s mother, Amanda Phillips, told reporters. “It’s terrible to see your child suffer like this.”

Jade began showing signs of the flu after coming down with a fever on Dec. 19.

“She’d say, ‘Mom, I don’t feel good,’ and we’d cuddle on the couch,” Phillips said.

Jade’s fever reportedly spiked before it was treated with medicine her parents bought. They told reporters the fever appeared to have gone down and she was back to normal.

“There wasn’t any sign that would’ve told me that something was seriously wrong with her,” Phillips said.

The situation took a turn on Dec. 24 when Jade’s father, Stephen DeLucia, went to wake her up. He reportedly found her lying unresponsive and burning up. The couple rushed Jade to Covenant Medical Center, where she reportedly started seizing. Jade was then air rushed to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital’s intensive care unit for treatment.

“I didn’t think I was going to see her again at that point,” Phillips said. “I really didn’t. Just from looking at her, I really honestly didn’t think I was going to see her.”

Doctors were able to stabilize Jade after she arrived, who had suffered brain damage from developing encephalopathy. Her parents were shown an MRI of Jade’s brain and said it was “lit up like a Christmas tree.”

The doctors praised Jade for her spirit and surviving the ordeal.

“She is lucky to be alive,” Dr. Theresa Czech said. “She’s a little fighter. And I think she’s super lucky.”

According to reports, Jade has since recovered and was taken home on Thursday. However, the brain damage caused Jade to go blind and it is unknown if it will be permanent. An eye specialist reportedly told the family Jade’s eyes were still healthy but it would be around six months until they know if the damage is permanent.

Phillips addressed the family’s future in a Facebook post and how they are already preparing for the worst.

cheap flu jabs, know the dangers cheap flu jabs, know the dangers Photo: kfuhlert - Pixabay