Iowa Teenager Dies Days After Flu Symptoms Appear

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REDFIELD, Iowa -- The Polk County Medical Examiner's Office says since early November, they've listed influenza as the cause of death on seven death certificates. Two of those were children. However, the Iowa Department of Public Health says it is working to confirm three primary reports of flu deaths of people under the age of 18.

Fourteen-year–old Amber Gray loved reading and drawing according to her uncle Adam Broman.

“She was completely healthy, nothing wrong with her. Yeah just a healthy typical 14-year-old girl which makes what happens to her that much more shocking.”

ALthough Gray had gotten the flu shot, she complained of flu-like symptoms on December 21st. The following day things quickly got worse.

“My sister and brother-in-law took her to the urgent care Monday night thinking she had strep but she did not have strep,” says Broman. “The next morning she had a temperature of 105 and was immediately taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital and immediately put on ventilator.”

Five days later Amber died from pneumonia and sepsis; complications from influenza A. An almost identical situation happened to three-year-old Ayzlee McCarthy from Elk Horn. Her obituary says she was transferred from a hospital in Atlantic to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines and died a short time later.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says the influenza A is by far the most severe and potentially deadly strain. The department predicts 1,000 Iowans will die this year from the virus and the Gray family never thought Amber would be one of them.

“Do not ignore signs like this because it`s amazing how quick something like this can happen. Just hug your sons and daughters when you can because it`s surprising how quickly something like this can happen.”

Gray’s funeral is on Saturday. The family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay for the medical and funeral expenses. Click here if you would like to donate.


      • Pharmacy Tech

        You are incorrect. There are three types of flu shots available. The 3 strain, 4 strain and a high dose shot for seniors ages 65+. The flu vaccine isn’t an exact science. The cdc guesses which strains of the flu virus will be most common & uses those strains to produce the following seasins flu vaccine.

    • kcmvsd

      The article and video both clearly state she had the vaccine. You evidently just jumped right to the comments section without even reading the article or watching the video.

      • Tom McKilip

        As the pharmacy tech said vaccination is not an exact science, more than that it is bad science. Why does this happen mostly in the midwest in the winter? Because of the lack of sufficient sunlight to produce Vit D. Read about Vit D. I haven’t had a flu shot in about 30 years. That was the last time that I had the flu. I take massive doses of D, more than most should take. That is what I need to keep my basil cell cancer in check. I have my serum level of D checked because over 100 is toxic. Even with my massive doses my level is 73. The gov’t recommends 50-70. I will soon be 78 and am in very good health, taking NO prescriptions and lots of GOOD supplements.

  • afrench1222

    prayers go out to her and her family. What I don’t understand is both of these girls had the flu shot. do you ever think maybe it’s the flu shot that’s killing them?

    • Hannah

      No its not the flu shot killing them. It’s lack of tertiary care in the first 48 hours. The flu shot saves lives, it does not cause the flu. ..

      • Truthin

        Many people have resulted in getting sick badly after the flue shot! Its not natural and it does not heal.

      • DMST

        The 2 times in my life that I got a flu shot I was sicker than I have ever been. I know know after extensive allergy testing that there is enough Mercury in a flu shot to kill me. I imagine the same would be true for others with autoimmune illnesses.

      • Alexandra

        The flu shot absolutely, positively, causes the flu in some people. Very, very bad flu. It very nearly killed my friend only last week. He was healthy as a horse; within three hours of the shot, he had suffocating congestion, a high fever, horrible cough, and heavy secretions from both eyes. He was lucky to recover so quickly; a 14 year old boy I know developed severe muscle pain within hours of the shot and was unable to walk for over three weeks. My very, very dear friend received a flu shot in October of 2010; he was a strong, healthy 42 year old postal carrier with zero chronic illness. Within hours of his shot, he was wracked with pain which increased from that day until the day he died six months later of a rare, aggressive cancer. What I’ve just written reads like some shabby tabloid splash piece, yet it reflects my actual, personal experience. This is a BS vaccination and always has been.

    • DSMmom

      I agree the flu shot like all vaccines are not natural and therefore can cause permanent even deadly reactions in the immune system. This is why the government has protected vaccine companies from lawsuits- because they admit they are with risk to those who get them. Guarantee the flu vaccine caused this young girls death. The components of the vaccine attack your immune system. It’s why I will never let my children be vaccinated. Prayers for this family during their unimaginable loss.

  • Meh

    sad story, but statistically not shocking, I mean there’s 7+ billion people on this earth, some are bound not to be able to recover from it. All you can do is expect the worst but hope for the best.

  • Tonya Hunt

    My son passed away 5 years ago and had THESE EXACT SYMPTOMS.. Only he had Lemierres Syndrome.. don’t know never heard of it, PLEASE READ UP ON IT….It masks it ugly she of as many things… Please pass the word as there is a way to SURVIVE WITH QUICK DIAGNOSIS AND DOCTORS WHO ACT FAST… Any one that needs info please contact me on FB and or … Prayers for these beautiful souls…

  • ervserver

    then there those employers who pressure employees to come to work sick. I foresee a day when employers are held liable for this type of action

    • Steph

      My husband works at a restaurant as a cook. And there are health code laws requiring employees to stay home if they have any kind of communicable illness or disease. Of course restaurant owners and managers think this only applies to things like hepatitis or aids, etc… But it clearly states ANY communicable illness or disease. Which a rational person would assume (especially dealing with food) meant that the flu etc… would also be included. The only problem I have with this of course is the cost of healthcare and the fact that employers are not required to pay employees for sick leave. If you can’t go to your job because you have the flu you simply miss work which MOST Americans cannot afford.

  • Kathryn Kirkland

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of her family and friends……. and also for the health care workers. They put themselves at such high risk to try to take care of the rest of us. Just so perplexing how so many different strains have reached epidemic proportions this year. Very scary. I haven’t had a flu shot, nor the flu, in over 20 years. Every time I took the shot, I got more sick than I would the years I didn’t have the shot. As I’ve gotten older and have a very serious condition now that is fatal, my doctors keep pushing me to get the shot and I keep refusing. I’m just staying at home as much as possible and praying this thing skips over our house. I hope all of you stay safe. Even if you only THINK you MIGHT be getting a runny nose, don’t play the hero, go get it seen about asap.

  • vicki

    Note that the 14 yr old had a flu shot, which I understand is more likely to predispose you to both getting it, and to getting it worse than others who didn’t get the shot.

  • Richard

    Flu shots do not weaken the immune system, they strengthen it. The flu shot stimulates the immune system to create anti-bodies against the strains it targets. If an individual is later exposed to one of those flu strains, those anti-bodies attack the virus particles. People who refuse to vaccinate create safe harbors for infectious diseases – they get sick and their kids get sick and expose the rest of us to the diseases that they carry. A vaccinated person may still get ill – they are exposed to the disease before the anti-bodies have built up to adequate levels, they are exposed to so much disease that it overwhelms their immune system, or the vaccine was prepared for a strain different from the exposure. Get vaccinated. It prevents the spread of infectious diseases and keeps everyone safe.

  • ralinda

    I just wanted to thank everyone for ther concern and prayers for my brother and his wife and son. The doctors did everything they could!!…including flying in medicine( vacine )…this flu just ran so quickly threw her body she just couldn’t make it…the last thing she said before she went on the ventaltor was (dont worry dad im not going to die)….im sad with her passing….But her soal lives on…..

  • Hugo S LaVia

    The flu epidemic is SO MUCH WORSE than ebola for the U.S. Where is the republican’t hue and outcry? Oh, that’s right, the elections are over.

  • Alexandra

    Ayzlee had both A and B in her system. The vaccine contains both A and B. Another medical worker in Wisconsin, 26 years old, has just died; she, too, received the flu shot and she, too, became septic. This shot is worse than ineffective; it is killing people.

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