Influenza

Families Fighting Flu, Inc.

Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (FFF) is a non-profit, volunteer-based corporation established in 2004 that is made up of families and healthcare practitioners who have experienced first-hand the death of a child due to the flu, or have had a child experience severe medical complications from the flu. FFF is dedicated to educating people about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccinating children against the flu every year.

FFF focuses on urging the CDC's Advistory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to change the current influenza vaccination recommendations to include all healthy children 18 years old and younger, with the goal of preventing childhood illness and death through widespread flu vaccination for all children.

Alana's Story

On the afternoon of February 2, 2003, 5½-year-old Alana Yaksich spent the day with her parents and brothers watching movies, eating sundaes and playing. Although she had a low-grade fever from a recent sore throat (for which she had finished a course of antibiotics), Alana enjoyed the afternoon feeling healthy, surrounded by her family. Later that evening, Alana developed a 106° F fever and was rushed to the emergency room.

Within 24 hours of her arrival at the local hospital, Alana died of flu-related complications that caused swelling and injury to her brain.

Because of this tragedy, Alana's parents plan to educate other members of the community about the importance of childhood flu vaccination.

Breanne's Story

During the evening of December 20, 2003, 15-month-old Breanne Palmer developed a slight fever and began to show symptoms similar to her brother who had recently been diagnosed with influenza. The next morning, Breanne’s fever rose to 101.5° F. Her parents took her to the pediatrician where the influenza diagnosis was made. Breanne was given antibiotics and sent home.

After visiting the doctor, Breanne took a long nap and her temperature began to slowly come down. Her parents continued to monitor her condition and give Breanne medication for her fever. When Breanne went to bed that night her temperature was almost normal. However, as the night wore on, Breanne’s temperature climbed again very rapidly reaching 105.5° F. Her parents put Breanne in a bath to help bring down her fever, but she began to have difficulty breathing so they called 911.

At the hospital, Breanne’s temperature rose to 107° F. Her temperature was brought down by the doctors in the emergency room, but Breanne had to be transferred to another hospital for more intensive care. A special life-support machine was needed as the virus began to attack Breanne’s heart and brain stem. However, after being transferred to yet another hospital, doctors told Breanne’s parents that the damage to her young body was too extensive. There was nothing the life-support machine could do. Breanne died in her mother’s arms on December 23, 2003 from Influenza A.

Breanne’s parents tried to get her vaccinated against the flu in early December but because she was diagnosed with an ear infection at the time her pediatrician would not vaccinate her.

Read other families' stories

"Say Boo to the Flu" Campaign

Families Fighting Flu, the Visiting Nurses, and Clorox are working together to help families say "Boo" to the flu. Visit the website, www.sayboototheflu.com, for more information on keeping your family healthier during flu season.

 

Important disclaimer: The information on pkids.org is for educational purposes only and should not be considered to be medical advice. It is not meant to replace the advice of the physician who cares for your child. All medical advice and information should be considered to be incomplete without a physical exam, which is not possible without a visit to your doctor.


Information is the power
parents have over disease.