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Mother morns the loss of her child to what could be H1N1

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  • Mother morns the loss of her child to what could be H1N1


    Mother morns the loss of her child to what could be H1N1
    November 05, 2009 5:05 PM

    KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) The latest numbers are in from the State of Michigan on the H1N1 outbreak.

    Health officials are now confirming 32 deaths related to the virus since the outbreak started in spring, with six more fatalities this week, that includes the first confirmed pediatric death, that of a six-month-old.

    It is also now possible that a second pediatric death could be related to H1N1 in Kalamazoo County.

    Newschannel 3 spoke to the child's mother on Thursday.

    Planning a funeral for a child is not what any parent wants to do, and that is why one mother wanted to speak out about her child's experience.

    "He was the most loving, caring, affectionate little boy that you could ever met," said Donna Blakely. "His eyes told all, he had the most beautiful eyes."

    Donna held on tightly to pictures of her son as she spoke to Newschannel 3, a day after she made the difficult choice to take her son off life support.

    "He was my life," said Donna. "He was a very special child. He was a special needs child."

    10-year-old Kamren first got sick in October. He had bronchitis, after a few days he spiked a fever. Test results are pending, but at the time, his pediatrician felt all signs pointed toward H1N1.

    Kamren went home to recover, but only got worse.

    "Some people come through it, some don't," said Donna, "and my son didn't come through."

    Kamren was hospitalized on Friday morning. Donna says he first contracted pneumonia, the most common complication of the flu, which damages the lungs and can put stress on the heart.

    "The influenza doesn't generally kill a patient," said Dr. Richard Van Enk of Bronson Methodist Hospital. "But the influenza could be the first step along a process that could end up with complications and putting a person in the hospital."

    For Kamren, it was one complication after another.

    "Within two days, his kidneys started to fail," said Donna.

    Donna says her son went into cardiac arrest several times, and suffered a brain hemorrhage. Kamren died Wednesday afternoon.

    "I just want people to know, don't take this H1N1 light-heartedly," said Donna, "take it very seriously."

    Donna is now keeping a very close eye on her 20-month-old daughter, who also had the flu. Doctors say the biggest thing to watch for is shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Those are signs that they need to see a doctor.