Mother Says Parents Should Follow Their Instincts
POSTED: 8:46 am CST February 19, 2007
UPDATED: 10:31 am CST February 19, 2007
<!--startindex-->OMAHA, Neb. -- An Omaha mother offered a warning for other parents regarding a form of influenza for which her son was hospitalized.
Anh Do, 11, of Lincoln, died Feb. 10 after the flu virus attacked her muscles. She had not had a flu shot.
Stephanie Mathis said her son, Peyton, had severe muscle aches last week to the point where the 7-year-old couldn't walk. She said that wouldn't have prompted her to think about the flu if weren't for media coverage of the death of a Lincoln girl with similar symptoms.
Peyton, who had received a flu shot earlier this winter, was in a hospital for three days fighting a headache and low-grade fever with leg cramps so bad he couldn't stand up.
"I couldn't think of what was wrong with me when I couldn't walk," Peyton said.
Stephanie Mathis said the first test at a doctor's office for flu did not test positive. But the boy's blood work was off, Mathis said, and doctors called her to tell her there was a problem.
"We have a room waiting for you. We need you to get to the hospital," Mathis said, recalling the conversation with her doctor. "I couldn't help but correlate it with the Lincoln girl who passed away.
"Stephanie Mathis said doctors told her there were similarities between the Lincoln fatal case and Peyton's."Things could have gotten much worse," the mother said.
Stephanie Mathis said she knew her son must have something more than a virus, which was doctors' first diagnosis, and that's why she's offering advice for other parents."Trust your instincts. I might have taken Peyton in on Monday if I'd been listening to myself, my motherly instincts," she said.
Peyton had the B strain of flu. Anna Do's father said he is not sure which strain she had.Three other children in Omaha have been hospitalized with the flu recently. All had severe muscle aches. The state Department of Health and Human Services is keeping an eye on all of the cases.
The Visiting Nurse Association will hold a flu shot clinic Wednesday at its offices on 42nd and Center streets, on the second level. Shots are available for children 6 months and older. Anyone under the age of 19 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The shots will be available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.