Having lost their teenage son, the Smith family was left devastated.
Their 17-year-old son death was a case of an undiagnosed illness.
A junior in high school, Jonah Smith, was an active teenager and had recently started working at a fast food eatery. He lived a normal life just like any other teenager of his age.
The teenager had not exhibited any symptoms of any illness other than the usual complaint of a sore back after work.
One the fateful day of his passing, Jonah had briefly complained of feeling ill. He then collapsed in his sister’s car. By now the sister had gotten very worried.
Jonah was quickly flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital but was unfortunately declared brain dead due to lack of oxygen traveling to his brain.
“He didn’t look like he had a cold. He didn’t act sick. He was just Jonah, busy everywhere,” his mother Gayle explained.
His family had no idea he was sick, and the doctors after running some tests declared Jonah had the flu.
The final diagnosis was a combination of heart failure and the flu. The exact cause of Jonah’s heart failure remains a mystery to all.
When asked, Jonah’s mom explained,
“They did toxicology tests, and at one point, they thought he might have had an undiagnosed heart problem. They determined that wasn’t the case. I can’t even tell you how many tests they did. The only thing they know for sure is he had influenza 1a and pneumonia.”
Typically when one gets the flu symptoms that follow may be a combination of fatigue, fever, body aches and sore throat. It may take up to 72 hours for the first symptoms to exhibit.
“We did hear his heart went to an 11-year-old little boy,” Gayle said. The family was somewhat glad that even in death their son was able to save lives as an organ donor.
According to the doctors, the family will have to wait six months to get the full results from the medical examiner on what exactly happened to Jonah.
Jonah’s case was not in isolation. Alani Murrieta, who lived in the same area of Phoenix, Arizona met her death in almost a similar manner. The mother of two also died of the flu back in December of 2017. It was an unexpected death as Alani checked herself into hospital as routine not realizing she was never going to check out. She died one day later.
Unlike Jonah’s case, Alani showed symptoms although her family says that it was rare for her to get sick. Just like Jonah, her heart stopped as well.
Her death came as a shock to her family even though she showed symptoms.
Recent studies have actually shown that approximately 36,000 people succumb to the flu in the United States annually.
It’s paramount for every person to seek immediate medical attention even if the symptoms seem minor, and remember to get the vaccination.
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