(Meredith) – A Texas man said his 4-year-old daughter, who had no underlying health conditions, died four days after showing symptoms of the flu.
“When I think about my baby, that tears me down man," Martell Grinage told KTVT. "That’s what I was living for. I told her I wasn’t going to let (anything) bad happen to her."
Grinage's daughter, Ashanti, fell ill after church on Sunday, Jan. 27, KDFW reported. The family took her to the emergency room the following Tuesday when her fever reached 103 degrees.
Tests determined Ashanti had influenza Type A. Doctors reportedly sent her home and recommended over-the-counter medications to help relieve her symptoms.
Though her fever subsided, Ashanti became extremely lethargic by Thursday. Her mother took her back to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. The 4-year-old died later that day.
Grinage said his daughter did not get a flu shot.
This case marks the seventh flu-related death in Dallas County for the 2018-2019 season, KTVT reported.
“We cannot predict the intensity, severity or duration of the flu season from year to year,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, medical director of Dallas County Health and Human Services. “The best way to protect yourself and others is to get your seasonal flu shot.”
Ashanti's aunt, Nereida Olivarez, created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the young girl's funeral. It's raised more than $9,600 since Saturday.
"Although we are not ready, and it is hard to accept, we know our family has gained a beautiful angel in heaven," Olivarez wrote. "From the bottom of my heart, which feels so deep, dark and empty at this time, I am asking you to please provide prayers for my family."