Most Parents Have Never Heard of the 'Common' Flu Complication That Killed This Little Boy


The flu is something that most of us try our hardest to avoid. Even at its best, the common wintertime sickness can be a crappy experience for adults and downright awful for our little ones. Unfortunately in addition to being hard to deal with, it can also prove fatal to those who are most vulnerable. To make matters worse, one mom didn't realize even that her child's symptoms were related to the flu because he wasn't showing the "typical" signs like a fever or body aches that most know to look out for. Now, she's hoping to warn others after her 7-year-old tragically lost his life to a flu-related complication


Juanita Vidana told ABC 7 Chicago that her 7-year-old son, Cisco Galvez, began showing odd symptoms on New Year's Eve. After he began having problems breathing, Vidana quickly took him to an emergency room in San Bernadino, California, to be checked out. According to Juanita, the ER was packed by the time they got there. "It was full of people coughing and sneezing -- everybody was there for the flu basically," she said. 

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At first, doctors assumed that Galvez's breathing problems stemmed from his asthma. He was quickly treated and then released shortly after. By Wednesday, the boy's condition had worsened dramatically, giving him a high fever, extreme fatigue, and an awful stomach ache. It was these symptoms that drove Vidana to take him back to the hospital. 


"He said, 'Mom, I just want to go home and sleep on the couch. I want to lay and stretch my legs. I love you,'" she said. "I told him I loved him and that I would bring him home as soon as they gave him the medicine and he was better."  

Unfortunately, the 7-year-old never got the chance to go home. "They were going to send him to the ICU in Loma Linda and he didn't make it," said Vidana. "It happened so fast, in days, in a matter of days. I never expected it. He was very healthy."

The child died the next day and doctors said that Galvez had suffered from myocarditis -- a heart condition that causes an inflammation in the middle layer of the heart's wall. Myocarditis is known by many doctors as typically associated with the flu. "It's a very well-known complication of influenza. Again, it doesn't happen very often, but when it happens it's very bad," said Dr. Adrian Cotton at Loma Linda University Health.


Dr. Cotton told ABC 7 that this flu season is the worst he's season in at least 15-20 years. The doctor shared that in only a few weeks, it has become widespread in just about every state in the US. "Most people think of the flu as a cold, you know, 'I'm going to get over it.' Hopefully, people get over it but not everybody does," he said. 

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Only a day after her son's death, Vidana was forced to go back to the emergency room with her 9-year-old daughter and 5-month old son, who were both showing flu-like symptoms. The mother shared that she wanted to prevent what had happened to Galvez from happening to her other children since none of them have received flu shots this year. 

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family raise funds for Cisco Galvez's funeral. 

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