When Alyssa Alcaraz was sent home from school after throwing up, her family thought she probably had a “bug” of some sort – maybe even a mild case of the flu.
The next day, Alcaraz’s mother, Keila Lino, decided to take her daughter to a nearby urgent care, where doctors confirmed her suspicion: Alcaraz had the flu.
Doctors gave the young girl some nausea medicine and cough syrup, just in case.
“She’s been sick before with a cold and flu that has lasted longer,” Lino told Fox News. “It was nothing new for us. Like any normal teen, she just wanted to be left alone on her phone.”
Over the next four days, Alcaraz’s health continued to deteriorate. She was fatigued, had no appetite and was having trouble breathing.
When medication, rest and fluids failed, Lino rushed her daughter to urgent care. A physician told Lino the seventh grader’s oxygen levels were low, and Alcaraz was rushed to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, Calif.
“The doctor wanted to rule out meningitis, though she wasn’t complaining about her neck, he didn’t want to rule it,” Lino explained. “We were starting to do that procedure to test her fluid when she coded.”
The 12-year-old went into cardiac arrest, which, her parents say, was a result of septic shock from a strep infection in her blood – an infection she had no idea her daughter was suffering from. Within hours, Alcaraz was dead.
It wasn’t until days after her daughter died, on Dec. 17, that Lino learned the cause of her death.
“A couple days after she passed, we got a call from the lab at the funeral home,” Lino said. “We were shocked by it. Doctors said it was the flu, but it was a bacteria infection due to strep that shut down [her] organs all within three days.”
With the nation suffering from an unusually severe flu season, Lino says she isn’t surprised her daughter was misdiagnosed with the flu.