If you’ve been watching the news, I’m sure you’ve noticed the repeated information being thrown out there in droves about the severe flu season we’re going through right now. Severe might actually be a an understatement, what with places like Boston declaring a public health emergency because of their flu cases, and tents going up in states like Pennsylvania to deal with the massive amount of people with severe symptoms, according to ABC.com. If you’re one of those people who’ve listened to all of this information and let it go in one ear and out the other, this sad story might give you a reason to take all these warnings seriously, for yourself and your children.
According to The Dallas Morning News, little Tahila Johnson, 6, woke up on Monday morning dealing with aching pains all over her body. Taking her warnings seriously, her parents took the child to Dallas Regional Medical Center, and after checking her out for a little bit and figuring out that she had flu-like symptoms (though reports say she wasn’t tested for anything), the hospital sent Johnson home with some Zyrtec medicine, assuming her condition would improve. In an interview with WFAA-TV in Dallas, Tahila’s father, Earl Johnson, said that they decided all this after just spending a few minutes with the little girl, even though the family waited HOURS to see a doctor. “They even told us they didn’t check her for flu, and just gave her Tylenol and Zyrtec and sent us out the door,” he says. She was discharged that Monday evening and went home and straight to bed.
To the devastating shock of her family, Tahila Johnson went to bed that night, and in the morning, did not wake up. According to reports, when her grandmother checked on her in the middle of the night, she was asleep, but by early morning, when they went to wake her up, she was non-responsive. Not only that, her body was cold and stiff. By the time paramedics could come, it was too late, the little girl had passed.
A lot of blame should go to the hospital for not doing enough, though reports say they were bombarded with nonstop flu cases, therefore their time with each patience was limited. However, they did send out a statement to The Dallas Morning News saying, “The staff at Dallas Regional Medical Center would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Tahila Johnson. This is a tragic loss for which we are deeply saddened.”
While her father is mad at the hospital for not really checking her and doing more, he also feels responsible for not demanding more from them. While speaking with WFAA-TV, he sent a warning to other parents dealing with sick children this flu season:
“Make them check, make sure you do more to take care of your baby. That’s what is beating me up the most. I felt like I could have done more, like I should have made them check my baby for this and that.”
If you’re wondering, for those who don’t have insurance, you can actually get flu shots from places like Walgreens for a pretty good price (word is, it’s around $40). But if you can’t get your flu shots this year, please be sure to wash your hands and keep your germs to yourself. Those who are sick need to stay away from work, school and other people in general, and if your child becomes ill, it’s definitely recommended that you take them to a children’s hospital to get input and help on how to proceed with their condition. We just hope that people, including the bombarded doctors and nurses at hospitals during this time, will take people’s symptoms and illnesses a bit more seriously. Clearly, this might be one of the worst flu seasons in years.
Condolences to the Johnson family, and R.I.P. to this precious little girl.