Mom Claims Baby Got the Flu While Waiting for the Vaccine at Her Doctor's Office

Baby with flu
Asha Bentley/Facebook

A 6-month-old girl is currently fighting for her life after contracting the flu, and her mom believes her daughter was exposed at the pediatrician's office. Asha Bentley brought her baby to the doctor in hopes of preventing Alayah from getting the flu, but now that her infant is the intensive care unit, this mom from Tennessee wants other parents to learn from her heartbreaking experience. 

  • Alayah went to the pediatrician's office on Tuesday to get her flu shot.

    With the flu season ramping up earlier than it has previously, Bentley took her baby to get vaccinated. After waiting several hours to be seen, Bentley shared that the doctor checked her daughter for the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) at the same time because Alayah could have been exposed in the waiting room.

    Both tests came back negative, but in the days to come, Alayah came down with a cough and fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the typical incubation period for the flu is between one and four days with the average period of two days.

    As Alayah's symptoms progressed, Bentley took her to the emergency room twice, but both times they sent her back home. "My baby is miserable," she wrote on Facebook. "She is whimpering in her sleep and it's breaking my heart!"

  • Advertisement
  • Her mom knew that it was the flu and not just asthma, and tests confirmed her fears.

    Despite being dismissed at the hospital, Bentley listened to her gut and brought Alayah back to her pediatrician's office on Friday because she was still struggling to breathe. They weren't going to test her again because she had just been checked for the flu and RSV on Tuesday, but Bentley insisted. 

    "They weren't going to re-test her but I asked them to please do it for my sanity [because] it looked like it was more than just her asthma," she wrote on Facebook. "Sure enough she was positive for the flu! Please pray for my little lady and her mom. This is going to be a lonngggg week for me! Wish I could have it instead of my baby."

    More from CafeMom: This Baby Rocks a 'Placenta Bag' & His Mom Doesn't Care If People Hate It

  • Alayah was admitted to the hospital while fighting for her life as her symptoms progressed.

    "They admitted her [because] she was struggling too hard to breathe and nothing was making it better. When I brought her through the door he immediately said she will be staying [because] he did not like the way she sounded nor looked. She was about blue in the face," she wrote on Facebook. "They have her on oxygen, fluids, four different meds and it's still no progress. She hasn't eaten in 2 days now and won't drink anything. She sleeps for 30 mins maybe (still struggling to breathe) and wakes up crying."

    Despite doctors doing everything they can for Alayah, the flu is still taking its toll on her little body. "Her oxygen keeps dropping. Fevers of 103 that is continuously coming right back. Even with the oxygen and other meds she is still struggling to breathe!" she wrote. "I'm so sad ... My baby is miserable and I can't do anything about it. She keep saying mama and it's breaking me down so bad."

  • She had to be moved to the intensive care unit and is still there.

    "It's attacking very hard," Bentley told ABC News 9. "It hurts very bad, I haven't seen my baby smile in over a week and it's killing me."

    Although Alayah is still in the ICU, Bentley shared that she's calming down and starting to show signs of improvement. "I have never felt like this in my entire life! Just ready for my baby to get better and come home with me!" she wrote.

  • It's hard to know for sure if she got it in the doctor's office, but Bentley hopes that others take this seriously.

    Doctors warn that this flu season is already severe, but instead of avoiding getting the shot out of fears that you could catch it in the doctor's office, consider keeping your kiddos away from the communal play area, bringing disinfectant wipes, or even using masks while you are waiting.

    According to CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, of the 30 children who have already died from the flu this season, an estimated 85 percent of them weren't vaccinated. "My message is, if you haven't gotten a vaccine, please get a vaccine. Also, please get your children vaccinated," Fitzgerald said, according to Reuters

    This year's dominant strand is influenza A (H3N2), and although the flu shot is estimated to be only 30 percent effective, Fitzgerald wants parents "to take every advantage that you can to protect yourself" instead of just assuming that the shot isn't worth it this year. 

    According to Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the CDC, despite the shot's lower effective rate, studies have found that it still reduces the severity and length of the flu for those who get it -- which many doctors believe is reason enough to get your family vaccinated as soon as possible.

    More from CafeMom: Mom Seriously Confused After Her Breast Milk Turns Bright Pink

  • After everything she's been through, Bentley wants parents to remember that they are their kids' biggest advocates.

    "If they feel like it's something don't let them turn you away, be persistent," she told ABC News 9, "because if we weren't persistent parents, they would have walked us right back out the door again."

cold & flu health & safety doctor visits