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4-year-old Iowa girl blinded by flu after parents failed to get their daughter vaccinated

Jade was very close to death when her parents drive her to the hospital and she might have lost her vision permanently.

4-year-old Iowa girl blinded by flu after parents failed to get their daughter vaccinated
Image Source: GoFundMe page

A four-year-old girl in Iowa went blind after getting the flu and the doctors say she may never be able to see again. Jade DeLucia's mother, Amanda Phillips, who hadn't vaccinated her daughter, is now pleading with anti-vaxxers to vaccinate their children after Jade almost died. Jade DeLucia's mother rushed her to the hospital on Christmas Eve after her temperature went dangerously high. "If I can stop one child from getting sick, that's what I want to do," said Amanda Phillips, according to CNN. "It's terrible to see your child suffer like this." 



The 4-year-old almost died from the flu and had to spend close to two weeks at the intensive care unit at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. "She is lucky to be alive," said one of her physicians, Dr. Theresa Czech. "She's a little fighter. And I think she's super lucky." The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in a majority of the cases where children died as a result of flu, they hadn't been vaccinated. CDC also notes that a majority of the kids were perfectly healthy until they contracted the flu. 

Jade at the hospital/GoFundMe page

It all started on December 19, when Amanda Phillips noticed that her daughter felt a little down. Jade had a small temperature and told her mother that she wasn't feeling too well. Amanda Phillips gave her daughter some medicine for the fever and Jade regained her happy demeanor. Amanda had assumed it was just a "little bug." "She was running around, having fun. It was just — it's a little bug, she'll get over it," Amanda recollects telling herself. "There wasn't any sign that would've told me that something was seriously wrong with her," said Amanda. The family was planning to spend Christmas Eve with Phillips' parents but Jade wasn't responding. Her temperature had shot up overnight and the family ended up rushing to the hospital. By the time they reached Covenant Medical Center, Jade was having a seizure. She was shaking uncontrollably and her eyes had rolled to the back of her head. 


The doctors said Jade had to be shifted to the children's hospital at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Jade was airlifted to the hospital that was almost 80 miles away. "I didn't think I was going to see her again at that point. I really didn't. Just from looking at her, I really honestly didn't think I was going to see her," said Amanda. The couple was told on Christmas that Jade had encephalopathy, a complicated case of the flu. Jade's brain had been affected, according to a report by the CDC. The couple was informed that Jade had significant brain damage and that there was a strong possibility of her passing away. 

Jade/GoFundMe page

Within a few days, Jade had woken up but they noticed something odd. Jade wasn't responding to things around her. She wasn't looking at a stuffed animal, that was being held in front of her face. After analyzing Jade, doctors confirmed that the part of the brain that perceives light was damaged. They also confirmed that if her sight didn't improve in 6 months, the damage was permanent. The couple, are now encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated. They have also started a GoFundMe page to fund Jade's medical bills. 

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