Four-year-old Jade DeLucia lost her eyesight when she contracted the flu last year. A brave fighter, she's defeated the disease and regained her vision!
While many look at the flu as a regular old illness, nothing could be further from the truth. Influenza can be a deadly disease with lasting side effects. A story about a young girl from Iowa will prove just how dangerous the illness can be. Just days before Christmas last year, Jade DeLucia caught the virus at four years old as she had not received the flu shot this season. Her parents, mom Amanda Phillips and dad Stephen DeLucia, did not realize she had contracted the flu until Christmas Eve, when she came down with a high fever. As a result of her illness, she began losing eyesight. Thankfully, she has since regained her vision, CNN reports.
After her parents detected her extremely high fever, they rushed little Jade over to the hospital in Waterloo. Once she was admitted to the hospital, she had a seizure there, following which she was transported to a children's hospital in Iowa City. The specialty hospital was 80 miles away. On Christmas Day, the four-year-old's doctors informed Amanda and Stephen that the flu she contracted had sadly caused significant brain damage, also known as encephalopathy. According to her mom, her family wasn't sure she would ever see her daughter again. "They said our child might not ever wake up," Amanda explained. "And if she did, she might not ever be the same."
Thankfully, on New Year's Day, the impossible happened: Jade opened her eyes. She even smiled! From there, her condition just kept improving. Her doctors said the youngin was lucky to be alive. However, another tragedy soon struck. It shortly became obvious that the four-year-old could no longer see. The flu, it had become apparent to her neurologist, affected the part of her brain that allowed her to perceive sight. Her doctors believed she may never be able to see ever again. Her parents were left terrified about what this would mean for their young daughter. Nonetheless, yet again, brave little Jade fought through it.
Just weeks after she left the hospital once she was cured of the flu, her family members began to notice that Jade was suddenly regaining her eyesight. They recognized this when they saw her walking herself to the bathroom without touching the walls. In order to test if their hypothesis was true, some family members asked her where her uncle was. She walked right up to him without faltering. Ever since then, things have been smooth sailing. Amanda shared, "From there, it was almost an instant thing. She's doing really good." Later this month, Jade is scheduled for a visit to the opthalmologist "to see where her eyesight does fall." In addition to this, she will take a cognitive test so as to discover more details about some of the issues she is currently experiencing. As she was diagnosed with acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE), a disease brought on by the flu, the family is waiting on test results to find out if she has a genetic disposition for the disease. If so, Jade may be susceptible to more seizures (even without the flu).
Despite everything that Jade and her family have been through, they are trying to stay positive. "It's incredibly hard and we're still learning," her mother stated in a post uploaded to Facebook. "But I will never give up because she's not giving up." The four-year-old's family is tracking her progress on the Facebook group Jade's Journey, where you can learn all about Jade and find out how to get more involved with her recovery process. Amanda said, "[For now], she's doing awesome. We're excited, no matter what."